DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - Bail was set at $25,000 in Becker County District Court on Thursday for a man accused of hijacking a state hospital van Wednesday and leading police on a high-speed chase through a half-dozen counties.
According to law enforcement officials, David Buethner, 37, a mental health patient held at a Fergus Falls facility, hijacked a state van while being transported to a different facility in Anoka County and headed eastbound on Interstate 94.
Buethner was involved in a standoff at the Pine to Palm Motel in Detroit Lakes on Sept. 24 that lasted more than four hours and led to his arrest and the confiscation of at least four guns and 1,500 rounds of ammunition.
He was not criminally charged in that case. At a closed hearing Oct. 1 in Becker County District Court, he was found to be "mentally ill and chemically dependent" and was committed to the hospital in Fergus Falls for treatment for up to six months.
Now, however, he faces a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle. Other charges may be pending.
District Judge Lisa Borgen set bail at $25,000 with conditions or $100,000 without conditions. Borgen said even if Buethner posts bail, he will not be released since he is still committed to the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Human Services Department.