Man arrested in Downtown Minneapolis after car theft; pedestrian, officer hit by vehicle in incident

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A man is in custody after he stole a cab, hit an officer, pedestrian and squad cars, and caused damage to property in Minneapolis Thursday morning.

The man is identified as 30-year-old Joseph Francis Sandoval. He was uninjured in the incident, police say. He is being held at the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center and booked on probable cause criminal vehicular operation, theft of a motor vehicle, assault, fleeing a police officer and damage to property.

According to the Minneapolis Police Department, at about 9:06 a.m., police were notified of a Blue and White cab being stolen from the area of 9th Street and Nicollet Avenue. After GPS was established on the vehicle, authorities saw the vehicle being driven at high speeds in the area of 69th Avenue South and York Avenue. Edina and Richfield police departments were notified.

Additional information indicated that the stolen vehicle was heading north and back towards Minneapolis. Police witnessed the suspect at red traffic lights at the corner of West 50th Street and Xerxes Avenue South. When officers attempted to make a traffic stop at the location, the suspect put the vehicle in reverse and struck the car behind him. Then, he accelerated quickly, hitting an officer that was on foot and then hitting a squad car and the victim’s car again. The vehicle then fled at a high rate of speed, according to police.

The person in the car behind him at the time was not injured in the incident. The officer suffered minor injuries.

The Minnesota State Patrol was contacted and air support was requested. A pursuit followed, but the suspect started to drive on the bike path by Lake Harriet and the Rose Garden. Police called off the pursuit for safety reasons at that time. However, the Minnesota State Patrol helicopter located the stolen cab and notified MPD. As officers were attempting to get into position in case the suspect parked the stolen vehicle and fled on foot, the air support continued to follow the suspect vehicle.

The air support witnessed the suspect vehicle hitting a pedestrian at the intersection of Portland Avenue and East 18th Street. The suspect was seen stopped, then backed up, repositioned the cab and drove over the pedestrian again. No squads were close to that intersection at that time. That victim is in serious but stable condition at Hennepin County Medical Center and is expected to survive his injuries. He is described to be a man in his 30s.

The suspect then made a u-turn and traveled the wrong way on Portland Avenue and turned east on East 18th Street. Officers caught up to the vehicle in the area of East 18th Street and Chicago Avenue and attempted to box him in. Then, the suspect rammed a squad car and continued eastbound to 11th Avenue and into the downtown area.

The air support briefly lost track of the suspect due to buildings obstructing their line of sight.

Then, squad cars began to pursue the vehicle again throughout downtown and into the underground parking ramp of the Federal Building located on the corner of 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue South. The cab drove through the metal doors and into the ramp where he stopped because he reached a dead end. He was then taken into custody by officers.