PIT maneuver used to assist with stop

A Frazee man has been sentenced in Becker County District Court with fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, a felony, and misdemeanor Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).

A deputy saw James Duane Johnson, 54, of rural Frazee, weaving his vehicle on Highway 87 in Frazee, according to court records, on Nov. 24, 2022.

The deputy attempted to pull over Johnson, but he continued driving on Highway 87 before turning eastbound on Becker County Road 31, reaching speeds of 60 mph.

The deputy attempted a Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT) maneuver near County Road 31 and 360th Avenue. Johnson’s vehicle entered the ditch and he continued to drive from the ditch into a field and across a driveway.

The deputy conducted a second PIT maneuver causing the suspect vehicle to run into a parked semi-trailer in a yard.

Exiting the vehicle, Johnson displayed poor balance, watery, glassy eyes, and slurred, slow speech, according to the report.

Johnson admitted to drinking and that he recognized the police lights and sirens but did not pull over. His blood alcohol content was tested at 0.13 percent.

Becker County District Judge Gretchen Thilmony issued a stay of imposition on the felony fleeing charge and ordered him to serve four days in jail, with credit for four days served. Successful completion of probation will result in the felony charge being reduced to a misdemeanor conviction.

Johnson was fined $500 plus $150 in court fees and $300 and $25 in court fees on the misdemeanor DWI charge. He  must also complete a comprehensive assessment and follow all recommendations, including aftercare, and was placed on supervised probation for five years.