Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Aug. 6, 2001

New HL patrol car totaled, but officer unhurt

By Lynda Jensen

The new Howard Lake patrol car was declared a total loss following a one-car accident after midnight at 50th Street and Wright County Road 6 July 28.

A suspect who was being chased by a good samaritan was entering the area from the northeast part of the county just before the accident occurred, said Howard Lake Police Chief Mike Simmons.

The good samaritan previously witnessed the suspect damage a field with his car and called 911, Lieut. Dan Anselment of the Wright County Sheriff's Office said.

Police Officer Tim Sonnek responded to a call for assistance in the chase from the Wright County Sheriff's Office, Anselment said.

Sonnek rushed east on 50th Street to position himself for an interception on Wright County Road 107, Simmons said.

"He was on a gravel road and it was dark," Simmons said. The road was unfamiliar to him.

Sonnek swerved and rolled the car onto its side, hitting a tree in the process, Horst said.

The good samaritan lost sight of the suspect's vehicle, but the suspect was apprehended later that morning, as he was leaving his driveway, Anselment said. He was charged with criminal damage to property.

There were also other calls for Howard Lake taking place at the time, Simmons said.

The police vehicle, a white 2001 Ford Crown Victoria, was in service for two months, and had about 5,800 miles on its odometer, Howard Lake Deputy Clerk Dawn Horst said.

It was fully insured, Simmons said.

This leaves the Ford Expedition for the police department's use for now, Simmons said.

Sonnek has been with the police force since December and also coaches youth baseball.

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