Charges: Man shot at police during east-metro car chase, while his pregnant wife was a front-seat passenger

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A Minneapolis man’s pregnant wife was a front-seat passenger as he fired nearly a dozen gunshots at officers during a car chase through several east-metro cities on Sunday night, according to criminal charges.

Pablo Nava Jaimes, 30, was charged Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court with three counts of first-degree assault-use of deadly force against a peace officer and two counts of drive-by shooting-toward an occupied motor vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint, Jaimes admitted during an interview with investigators after his arrest that he shot at officers. He apologized.

At around 8:20 p.m. Sunday, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper tried to stop an Oldsmobile Cutlass for speeding and driving on the shoulder of Interstate 35E near Arlington Avenue in St. Paul. The car fled at speeds near 100 mph.

As the chase neared County Road E on I-35E in Vadnais Heights, the driver, later identified as Jaimes, fired a shot at the trooper, the charges allege. Neither the trooper nor his squad were struck.

Jaimes then exited the interstate and headed east on Minnesota Highway 96, where White Bear Lake police took over the pursuit. A State Patrol helicopter monitored the chase from the sky.

Jaimes slowed the car nearly to a stop and fired multiple shots at two police squads in the 1400 block of Birch Lake Boulevard, the charges say. The helicopter trooper saw muzzle flashes that appeared to come from the driver’s side of the car and were directed at pursuing squads, according to the complaint. The squads were not hit by the gunfire.

Officers recovered nine spent 5.56-caliber casings in the area.

Jaimes stopped at a business in the 1100 block of Birch Lake Boulevard, where he and his wife fled on foot. An officer saw Jaimes running with a gun in his hand.

The helicopter guided canine officers to Jaimes and his wife. They both allegedly resisted arrest, with a canine apprehending Jaimes by his arm and sending him to the hospital. His wife, who complained of stomach pain, was also taken to the hospital for an evaluation.

Officers recovered a pistol in an area where the helicopter trooper saw Jaimes throw it over a fence.

No officer from any of the several law enforcement agencies involved in the incident fired at Jaimes’ car, the complaint states.

Jaimes initially told investigators that he had picked up a man who asked for a ride and that the man told him to flee police and also fired the gunshots. When told that the helicopter trooper saw only him and his wife in the car, Jaimes admitted there was not a third person. He said his wife had “nothing to do with it” and that she “screamed at him to stop shooting,” the charges read.

Jaimes went on to say that he had drunk eight or nine beers and they were headed to a buffet in Maplewood when the trooper tried to stop them. He admitted to fleeing because he “wanted to escape” and that he stuck his hand out the driver’s window and shot at officers, the charges read.

Jaimes was driving on a suspended license and was wanted on an arrest warrant out of Hennepin County on drug possession and open bottle charges stemming from a traffic stop for speeding this past Christmas, according to court records.

A search of his car turned up a loaded handgun, two loaded magazines, three spent .45 caliber cartridge casings, a tequila bottle and empty beer cans, according to the charges. Methamphetamine was found in his wallet.

The warrant was issued April 5, the same day he missed a court hearing on the charges.

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