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Charges: Wis. man tossed sawed-off shotgun from car during Red Wing pursuit

A Beldenville, Wis., man led law enforcement on a winding chase throughout Red Wing in the early morning hours April 28.

Steven Kenneth Kuhns, 49, was first spotted traveling southbound in a 2007 Mercedes-Benz C230 on Highway 35 near 747th Street in Pierce County, slowing down near a disabled vehicle parked at the intersection. According to the criminal complaint, a Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy believed the conduct to be suspicious. Upon checking in-house records, law enforcement learned Kuhns has a revoked Wisconsin driver’s license.

A second deputy reported spotting Kuhns near the Harbor Bar on 825th Street. The report states a pursuit began at that point. Kuhns continued southbound on Highway 35, entering Red Wing then traveling north onto Main Street. He then led police throughout downtown streets, including West Sixth Street, passing in front of the Goodhue County Law Enforcement Center. The pursuit continued into various neighborhoods.

Law enforcement alleges Kuhns did not obey any stop signs and traveled at speeds varying 30 to 55 mph. While turning onto Vera Street, a dead end street, Kuhns made a U-turn and went through a residential yard, almost hitting a tree and nearly striking two patrol vehicles, the criminal complaint states.

Shortly after, Kuhns turned onto Seymour Street, also a dead end. Officers allege he tossed a sawed off shotgun out of the window. While attempting to turn around in a residential yard, Kuhns struck a small tree stump and spun out. Patrol vehicles boxed in the suspect vehicle and apprehended both Kuhns and a passenger, identified as Laurie Ann Rolfer.

Law enforcement discovered a glass smoking device on Rolfer, which they said tested positive for methamphetamine.

During an interview, Kuhns admitted to having a drug problem, stating that he was smoking meth the day prior. According to the complaint, Kuhns said he did notice the patrol vehicles behind him but “at that point he was already committed and just decided to keep going and not stop.”

He said Rolfer continually told him to stop and refused to throw the firearm out of the window when Kuhns asked. Kuhns said he kept going because he thought he could get asylum in Minnesota. Kuhns reportedly told police that he lost his home to a tax issue and would have driven the car into the river, if Rolfer wasn’t in the vehicle.

Rolfer was also interviewed by police. She stated that she kept screaming at Kuhns to stop and let her out, and thought multiple times about jumping out the window or opening the door to get out.

Kuhns faces two felony charges for short-barreled shotgun possession and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, two gross misdemeanors for ammo/firearm possession and four traffic misdemeanors. Kuhns is being held on a $75,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in Goodhue County District Court May 19.