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Paula Quam, Forum News Service, Published March 29 2014

Charges filed against man who deputies say stole their patrol car

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – Charges have been filed against a Bemidji man accused of stealing wine from a liquor store, then leading police on a chase and stealing their squad car after threatening them with a shotgun.

Ty Justin Andree, 23, faces six felony charges, according to Becker County Attorney Gretchen Thilmony:

- Two counts of first-degree assault with use of deadly force on a peace officer, both of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

- Two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, both of which carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.

- One felony charge of theft of a motor vehicle, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

- One felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a vehicle, which carries a maximum of five years prison and $10,000 fine.

He also faces a misdemeanor charge of theft.

Andree appeared in court last week in Hubbard County on a burglary charge for allegedly stealing a shotgun that he later used to threaten Becker County and Hubbard County officers after they stopped him with spike strips during the March 21 chase.

Authorities said that after stealing two bottles of wine from Lakes Corner Liquor Store at Highways 29 and 34 and taking police on a chase through rural Becker County, Andree got out of his stopped vehicle and began walking toward the officers with the shotgun.

According to the complaint filed in Becker County Court, Anree advanced toward both squad cars, holding the shotgun up near his chest. Andree shouted, “I’m gonna point this gun at you and shoot you! I’m gonna take your car! Just shoot me!,” the complaint said.

Despite deputy commands to stop advancing and drop the weapon, authorities said, Andree continued approaching the squad cars and repositioning his grip on the shotgun so that his hands were in a position to immediately discharge the weapon.

Officers then retreated to the back of the squad car to take cover, as Andree reportedly hopped in the Becker County sheriff’s squad car and took off with the radio, lights and siren on.

The deputies then reportedly shot at the departing squad car as Andree drove away, shooting out the back window.

Spike strips three miles down the road disabled the squad car, and officers there reportedly got in a “hand-to-hand” confrontation with Andree before he was arrested.

According to the complaint, Andree gave a statement and told special agents that he got out of his car with the shotgun in a threatening manner in an effort to scare officers into shooting him and admitted to stealing the shotgun and the bottles of wine.