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Published October 26 2010

Man accused of leading cops on chase in stolen taxi

MOORHEAD – A 24-year-old man is accused of stealing a taxi cab in Fargo and leading authorities on a chase into Clay County, where a Minnesota State Patrol trooper used a pit maneuver to stop the cab.

Doyle Cab reported the black 2007 Dodge van stolen at 1:48 a.m. in the 2700 block of Fifth Avenue South in Fargo.

Fargo Sgt. Joe Anderson said the suspect was intoxicated and became agitated, wanting to drive the taxi. The driver stopped the cab and got out, believing the suspect would assault him, and the suspect climbed into the seat and drove away, he said.

Moorhead police spotted the van in their city and, with help from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the State Patrol, began pursuing the van south of Moorhead on Highway 75, Lt. Tory Jacobson said.

The pursuit lasted less than a minute and reached speeds of only 30 to 35 mph, but at one point the southbound van crossed the centerline and began driving in the northbound lane, creating a “very dangerous situation,” he said.

The van didn’t stop when the state trooper activated his flashing flights, so the trooper used the front of his patrol car to perform a pit maneuver, a tactic used by police to stop a vehicle by turning it sideways.

Cody Lee Littleghost, whose address is unknown, was arrested on suspicion of fleeing in a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property, DWI test refusal, obstructing the legal process, driving without a valid license and four Clay County misdemeanor warrants, Jacobson said. Littleghost was booked into the Clay County Jail.

A bottle of Hennessy cognac was recovered from the cab, Jacobson said.

Highway 75 south of Moorhead is a busy, narrow two-lane road that has seen a number of dangerous crashes and fatalities, Jacobson said.

“So, we appreciate the assistance of the Minnesota State Patrol with ending this pursuit as quickly as they did,” he said.