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Charges: Man crossed High Bridge, fled officers at 100 mph

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Dean J. Mickelson2 / 2

A La Crosse man picked up his third active fleeing police charge last week after a traffic incident beginning at the High Bridge connecting Pierce and Goodhue counties.

Pierce County prosecutors charged 22-year-old Dean J. Mickelson with two felonies — attempting to flee an officer, meth possession — and three misdemeanors stemming from the March 5 incident. He was released on a $20,000 signature bond after a March 6 hearing before Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Joe Boles.

Mickelson was charged in La Crosse county with felony fleeing from a Jan. 23 incident, along with a Sept. 11, 2017, incident for which he was charged with fleeing police and second-degree recklessly endangering safety.

According to a criminal complaint:

A Pierce County sheriff's deputy spotted a gray Cadillac crossing the High Bridge just after 1 a.m. March 5 and learned its registered owner had a suspended license. Another deputy began to follow the car, which pulled over near 825th Street.

A man got out of the passenger seat and raised his hands just before the car sped off, leading officers on a chase with speeds approaching 100 mph.

Deputies, joined by officers from Prescott and Ellsworth, stopped the car a second time about 15 minutes later on Highway 10 at 1090th Street, where they arrested the driver, Mickelson, at gunpoint.

Deputies reported finding several counterfeit bills in the car and among Mickelson's belongings when he was booked into jail. A search of the car turned up a currency-detecting microscope, along with suspected meth.

Officers interviewed the passenger, who said he was a friend of Mickelson's. He told deputies Mickelson was looking for a place to stay, so he agreed to let him stay at a room he'd rented at Treasure Island Resort and Casino in Welch.

The two gambled at the casino until about midnight, the friend said, when Mickelson told him he wanted to go visit a friend who owed him money. That's where they were heading at the time of the traffic stop, the friend told the officers.

According to the friend, Mickelson fled because he had a warrant, but allowed him to exit the car — provided he didn't identify Mickelson to authorities.

Mickelson's preliminary hearing was set for April 16.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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