Minnesota man tries shoeless approach in latest attempt to flee police
Over the years, Jacob Friedrichs has led police on chases from behind the wheel, as a passenger in a vehicle and on foot. This time, he tried the shoeless approach.
WINNEBAGO, Minn. — A law enforcement officer spotted Jacob Friedrichs on Tuesday afternoon. Friedrichs spotted the law enforcement officer. What happened next would only have been a surprise if Friedrichs didn't make a run for it.
Over the years, Friedrichs has led police on chases from behind the wheel, as a passenger in a vehicle and on foot. This time, he tried the shoeless approach.
"He ran several miles in socks," said Nicollet County Sheriff's Investigator Marc Chadderdon.
The busiest period in Friedrichs' lengthy interactions with police, which go back to his teenage years, was probably the summer of 2013. Friedrichs pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor charges of fleeing police and assaulting a police officer after an incident in June of that year when, as a passenger in a fleeing vehicle, he was accused of trying to hit an officer by forcing the driver's foot down on the gas pedal.
When the vehicle eventually stopped, Friedrichs fled on foot and escaped. Spotted again in a Mankato neighborhood on July 2, 2013, officers from multiple agencies closed in, but he eluded them on foot again.
"He's a fast runner," Blue Earth County Sheriff Brad Peterson said at the time. "He's fleet of foot."
Less than a week later, Friedrichs escaped an attempted arrest for a third time, leading police on a car chase while headed east in the westbound lanes of Highway 14 in Mankato before crashing the car into a ditch and running up the mosquito-infested bluff near the Highway 169 Happy Chef restaurant. Despite the efforts of police dogs, a State Patrol helicopter and dozens of squad cars, he disappeared.
Later that day, though, he was caught at a local home and jailed without incident.
His history of drug and theft charges covered the periods both before and after the 2013 incidents. In 2003, it was first-degree manufacturing of methamphetamine, among other convictions. In 2018 it was seven ATVs and a variety of other items stolen from rural properties in Nicollet and Le Sueur counties.
The latest warrant for his arrest stems for allegations that he stole seven vehicles and a fish house from a St. Peter property following the owner's death.
Chadderdon said 4X4 Truck and Auto Parts, located on a rural stretch of Highway 169 midway between Amboy and Winnebago, seemed like a good place to try to nab Friedrichs, whose last permanent address was in rural St. Peter.
"We had heard information that Jake might be down there," he said of his motivation for checking it out. "They buy and sell copper and aluminum and stainless steel."
And if it did turn out to be the location of an attempted Friedrichs arrest, it would be a low-traffic area if he tried to flee by car. And it would be a remote landscape, several miles from town, if he tried another flight by foot.
As Chadderdon arrived, "Here he came."
Friedrichs, a passenger in the approaching vehicle, "bailed out."
Chadderdon had no trouble getting assistance in this pursuit, losing track of all of the agencies who responded.
"Everybody showed up to help because they know the name," he said.
With the aid of numerous officers, a police dog and drones, Friedrichs was found after about an hour hiding in an old camper in the scrapyard.
At age 39, Friedrichs hasn't lost much of his foot-speed, which Chadderdon describes as "still pretty good." But in a possible concession to his age, Friedrichs abandoned his heavy boots in an apparent attempt to boost his acceleration.
Although Friedrichs was captured, Chadderdon said law enforcement are tiring of the chase, and he hope Friedrichs' ever-accumulating criminal record might boost his bail and whatever sentence he receives after a trial.
"He's continuing to commit crimes while he's out on bail from other jurisdictions," Chadderdon said. "... He's out on bail right now out of Blue Earth County."
He was out on bail at the start of Tuesday. By Tuesday night, after a brief hospital stop for an examination of his frigid feet, he was cooling his heels in the Nicollet County Jail.
(c)2022 The Free Press (Mankato, Minn.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.