It turns out a bike not properly illuminated wasn’t the only reason a Winnebago police officer wanted to speak with its rider.
According to the initial police department press release, officer Jacob Pettit saw a male riding a bicycle without a headlight or reflectors around 11:11 p.m. the evening of July 1 on Third Street Southwest.
Pettit reportedly turned his vehicle around to talk with the man, but he noticed the officer and began to pedal faster.
A complaint filed in Faribault County District Court says local authorities have been investigating recent incidents of spray paint vandalism.
“He did not have lights on his bike and seemed suspicious,” says Police Chief Eric Olson. “No, we don’t believe he was (involved in the vandalism).”
Michael Pepin, 30, of Fairmont, according to court documents, fled because he thought Pettit was going to beat him up.
City crews have removed spray paint from dugouts at the ball field behind the school, a sidewalk and some stop signs, according to Olson.
Pepin has been arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of fleeing a peace officer and faces a maximum penalty of 90 days on jail and a $1,000 fine.
Pettit activated his squad car’s emergency lights and siren as he followed Pepin, who reportedly rode down alleys, several streets and yards.
At one point the pursuit went between two house on First Avenue Southwest before Pepin was apprehended with the assistance of two other men.