Officer dodges oncoming car, chase called off

Also, a body was pulled from the Mississippi River on Monday.

James Nord

University of Minnesota police officer Thomas Bohrer sat on his motorcycle Saturday morning on the side of the 10th Avenue Bridge watching for speeding motorists when the sound of loud acceleration made him look over his shoulder.

Bohrer didn’t need a radar gun to tell that the white sedan speeding over the bridge was going too fast, and as the car passed, he clocked it going 17 mph over the speed limit and began to follow it.

After crossing the bridge, Bohrer activated his sirens and the car fled down Cedar Avenue South toward a dead-end street.

Bohrer called for backup and followed the car to the end of the road.

Bohrer described the event in detail in a police document.

“The vehicle made a quick U-turn to the left and then accelerated directly toward my motorcycle. I immediately locked up the front and rear brake and laid the motorcycle down as I’ve been trained.”

The motorcycle “crash[ed] to the ground” and slid, suffering slight damage.

“As it was sliding, I was able to jump off on the right side and get to my feet just as the vehicle was coming at me,” Bohrer wrote.

Bohrer drew his duty-issued Glock .40 caliber handgun and pointed it at the vehicle accelerating toward him, yelling for the driver to stop.

The car missed him by a matter of “about one to two feet,” and headed south on Cedar Avenue South at its intersection with Washington Avenue South.

At first, the officers he called for backup thought he’d been hit by a car.

Bohrer abandoned his motorcycle to run after the vehicle, cutting through a parking lot before he caught up with it. He used his radio to update the backup squad car on its way.

The squad car, with the help of screaming patrons at Preston’s Urban Pub, chased the sedan down Cedar Avenue and eventually found it turning onto Third Street South.

The officers pursued the vehicle, which they identified as possibly being a white Saab, for nearly a mile, sirens blaring.

The sedan weaved in and out of traffic and ran multiple red lights while going more than 75 mph to evade police, according to police documents.

Eventually, the officers stopped pursuit because the sedan “was heading [toward] the highly populated area of downtown Minneapolis.”

They correctly followed University police pursuit policy, Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said.

Police were unable to obtain video footage of the chase, apart from a recording from the squad car’s dash camera. None of the officers were able to record a license plate number.

Miner said the officer didn’t sustain any injuries.

Attempted robbery

A University student fought off a man who attempted to rob him early Sunday morning.

Tanakron Ektanitphong, 23, was walking near Ontario Street Southeast and Washington Avenue Southeast at about 2:30 a.m. when he said a black male carrying a knife approached him.

Speaking with an accent, the man said to Ektanitphong, “Give me your money … give me your wallet,” according to the police report.

Acting as though he was going to comply, Ektanitphong reached into his pocket. When the suspect looked away, Ektanitphong grabbed his right arm and twisted it behind his back. He said he heard the bone “pop” and “the suspect ran away screaming,” according to the report. Ektanitphong was uninjured.

Minneapolis police officers were unable to locate the knife, which Ektanitphong thought the suspect may have dropped near the scene.

According to a University crime alert, “The suspect is described as a black male who spoke with a foreign accent, approximately [6 feet 1 inch] tall with a light build. He was wearing a black long-sleeved shirt and a black bandana over his face.”

Police are still searching for the suspect.


The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office pulled a dead body out of the Mississippi River on Monday afternoon, according to police.

A worker at the Lower Saint Anthony Falls Lock and Dam found the body of an adult female and alerted authorities, said Lisa Kiava, a public information officer for the sheriff’s office.

“In this particular case, it was the sheriff’s office notified and our boats that went out there,” she said.

The lock is located slightly down river from the University’s Southeast Steam Plant.

Kiava, who knew few details about the event, was unable to comment on the condition of the body or the victim’s exact age.

The body was transported to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, which will determine the cause and manner of death, Kiava said.

If the medical examiner finds the cause of death to be homicide, the Minneapolis Police Department will take over the investigation, Sgt. Bill Palmer said.