Rochester Man Accused of Leading Authorities on 3-County High Speed Chase
The criminal complaint says a Rochester Police officer was monitoring radio traffic regarding a vehicle being pursued south of Rochester by Fillmore County Authorities and the Minnesota State Patrol on April 30. The officer then responded to a Rochester gas station around 11:50 a.m. and saw the suspect fueling the vehicle at a gas pump.
The charges say the suspect, identified as 36-year-old Bennie J. Byler, yelled at the officer and got into the vehicle he was fueling. By that time two police vehicles had boxed him in, however Byler backed up from the pump and into a squad vehicle parked behind his vehicle.
He then drove away from the gas station and entered onto northbound Hwy. 52 where he was seen passing vehicles on the left shoulder and weaving in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed, the complaint says. Officers pursued the vehicle but discontinued the chase, losing sight of Byler’s vehicle and encountering road construction on 65th St. Northwest.
Byler was then involved in an accident and apprehended in Wabasha County a short time after evadeding Rochester Police officers. Olmsted County prosecutors charged Byler with one count of felony fleeing, and misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and theft of fuel.
Wabasha County jail records indicate Byler is being held on $25,000 bail on local felony fleeing and misdemeanor reckless driving counts in connection to the end of the three-county high-speed pursuit. He’s due to make his first appearance in the Olmsted County Court case on June 13.