Man charged in Maplewood standoff 'insisted he was going to die,' complaint says

Kelly Gordon Sauer, 48. Photo: Ramsey County
Kelly Gordon Sauer, 48.

May 23, 2019 04:42 PM

A St. Paul man has been charged after authorities say he crashed into a Maplewood residence and was involved in a standoff with police for several hours earlier this week.

Kelly Gordon Sauer, 48, is charged with felony theft of a motor vehicle and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, also a felony.


A criminal complaint says police officers saw a dark Honda CRV at about 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday and, after running the front license plate, discovered the plate had been reported stolen from a Chevrolet Trailblazer the day before. Officers then got behind the CRV and activated their squad's lights to initiate a traffic stop near Edgerton Street and Hoyt Avenue in St. Paul, but the vehicle fled.

It continues, stating the CRV traveled into Maplewood and wound its way around to Larpenteur Avenue where it then reached speeds around 90 mph. A train forced the vehicle to turn onto Sylvan Street, a dead end that ended at the St. Paul Water Plant. The complaint says the CRV turned into the plant's parking lot and drove back onto Sylvan Street, cut a front yard, drove through a chain-link fence into the backyard and then struck a wooden staircase and several items in the yard before crashing into a retaining wall and coming to a stop.

The complaint states officers yelled for the driver, later identified as Sauer, to get out of the CRV, but he said he wouldn't and he had a gun on him. After one officer saw what was believed to be a black barrel of a handgun pointed out of the window, officers backed off and set up a perimeter.

RELATED: Maplewood standoff ends, driver who crashed into house in custody

RELATED: Driver crashes in Maplewood after pursuit with police, refuses to cooperate with officers

Sauer then dumped something from a red gas can onto himself and covered himself with a blanket, and insisted he was going to die that night, according to the complaint. Sauer also told police he was stuck in an endless spiral of screwing up, and "the only way he was coming out of the vehicle was in a body bag," the complaint states.

After SWAT arrived and talked to Sauer for "a considerable amount of time," they convinced him to exit the CRV through the rear driver's side window, where he then walked to officers and was taken into custody, the complaint states. It also says officers found what appeared to be a suicide note when he was taken into custody.

According to the complaint, Sauer had a warrant out for fleeing police in a motor vehicle after leading police on a chase in a stolen car and ramming into squad cars. The warrant was issued after he was granted a conditional release, he then failed to appear in court on the charge in April.

Sauer has nine prior felony convictions.

No damage estimate was given for the property where Sauer's vehicle ended up.

He faces up to five years, a $10,000 fine or both on the theft charge, and up to three years, a $5,000 fine or both for fleeing police.

His first court appearance is set for Friday.

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