St. Paul Man Fled Police in Hastings, Crashed, Injuring Two Passengers

According to criminal charges, a St. Paul man with a warrant and a revoked driver’s license fled a traffic check in Hastings last month and dodged police for about five miles before crashing and hurting his two minor passengers.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Dakota County District Court, Ko Ko, 30, fled the scene and eluded arrest. He is charged with two counts of criminal vehicular operation resulting in substantial bodily harm-gross negligence and fleeing police in a motor vehicle-resulting in substantial bodily harm. As of Tuesday, Ko has not been found.

According to Monday’s criminal complaint, Ko’s girlfriend informed police that throughout the chase, Ko indicated he was wanted on a warrant and was not going to stop over.

According to court documents, a warrant for Ko’s arrest was issued in Goodhue County on April 14 after he violated his probation and then failed to appear at a hearing.

A Dakota County sheriff’s office sergeant noticed a white vehicle in the parking lot of a Hastings gas station at 1:40 p.m. on May 30. Ko, the car’s registered owner, has a suspended driver’s license.

Ko raced out of the parking lot and went north on state Highway 316 while the sergeant circled the petrol station. At 33rd Street and Highway 316, he blew right past the stop sign.

The sergeant pursued Ko with lights and sirens, but accusations allege that Ko went to 70 mph in a 35 mph zone and swerved in and out of traffic. The sergeant discovered Ko had an arrest warrant as the chase progressed.

Ko drove northbound in a southbound lane of U.S. 61 near state Highway 55 after blowing past a red light at U.S. 61 and County Road 47. At Seventh Street, a Hastings police officer used stop sticks, puncturing one of Ko’s tires.

Ko attempted to make a right-hand turn off U.S. 61 into a business parking lot just before the Hastings Bridge but lost control of the vehicle and drove into a wall sign. He ran towards a forested area on foot.

Officers arrived at the scene and discovered Ko’s girlfriend in the front passenger seat, as well as two wounded children. They were taken to the hospital by ambulance, where it was revealed that the 4-year-old child had shattered vertebrae, facial and sternum fractures, and a dislocated shoulder. A 3-year-old girl’s arm was fractured.

Officers searched the area but were unable to locate Ko. His identification was discovered near the car’s front driver’s seat.

Throughout the pursuit, which lasted more than 4.5 miles, the sergeant had a dash camera engaged.

Last year, Ko was charged with gross misdemeanor fifth-degree drug possession, failing to submit proof of insurance, and driving with expired tabs in Goodhue County. On the drug conviction, Ko received a year of probation and a stay of adjudication, which meant the case would be dropped provided he followed numerous court-ordered conditions. However, he failed to do so, and as a result, he missed the April 14 court session, according to court filings.

In 2017, Ko was convicted of receiving stolen goods in Yellow Medicine County, and in 2018, he was convicted of escaping a peace officer by means other than a motor vehicle in Ramsey County.

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