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Suspect in police chase remains hospitalized

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By Justin Glawe

BEMIDJI – The subject of a police chase Wednesday night remained hospitalized Saturday with a broken back, Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said.

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Jeramie Pilecki, 36, sustained the injury after losing control of his vehicle and crashing it into a ditch a few miles north of Bemidji.

Hodapp said Pilecki won’t be taken into custody until after a warrant is issued through the Beltrami County Attorney’s Office, and after he is released from the hospital.

Pilecki was released from custody in order to be admitted to the hospital, preventing the jail from being responsible for Pilecki’s medical bills.

“If they’re not a danger to society, that’s typical,” he said. “If (the Bemidji Police Department) takes him into custody or we did, the taxpayers would have to foot the bill. And that’s the last thing we want the taxpayers to have to pay for, when someone pulls a stunt like this.”

Officers with the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, the Bemidji Police Department and several other law enforcement agencies determined the nature of Pilecki’s injuries to be serious enough Wednesday night to require immediate treatment, and were not able to interrogate him at the scene.

Pilecki does not have a criminal history that involves any major crimes, records at the Beltrami County Courthouse show, and the reason why he fled remains a point of speculation.

Hodapp said that in Pilecki’s case, the injuries sustained and their possible cost to taxpayers were of immediate concern.

“If we took him to the jail, and his injuries weren’t as apparent as they were at the time, we’d be on the hook for those costs,” he said.

Medical treatment for inmates at the Beltrami County Jail, including treatment for injuries sustained prior to their incarceration, must be paid for by the county – cutting into the jail’s budget.

  “That’s not what we want,” Hodapp said. “People should have to pay for their own care.”

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Justin Glawe
Reporting on crime, courts and Beltrami county government. Follow me on Twitter @JustinGlawe.
(218) 333-9200 x343
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