On Friday, June 9, 2022, at approximately 3:21 a.m., East Grand Forks Police Department (EGFPD) Officer Parker Knaack was on routine patrol in Grand Forks, Polk County, Minnesota, when he observed a silver GMC pickup traveling eastbound on Demers Avenue. As he passed the pickup, Officer Knaack observed a lone male driver wearing a red sweatshirt. Officer Knaack observed that the pickup turned left onto 2nd Street N.W. and traveled northbound. Officer Knaack turned onto River Street N.W. and traveled northbound to the intersection with Patriotism Drive. At that time, Officer Knaack activated his radar, which indicated that the pickup was traveling 41 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour speed zone. Officer Knaack further observed that as the pickup approached the intersection with 4th Street N.W., the pickup failed to come to a complete stop at the stop sign at that intersection, and then the pickup turned left without using its turn signal. Officer Knaack attempted to follow the pickup and catch up to it. Officer Knacck noted that the pickup was driving erratically and that he was not closing the distance on the pickup. Officer Knaack again activated his radar which indicated that the pickup was traveling 43 miles per hour in a 35 miles per hour speed zone on River Road N.W. Officer Knaack then activated his emergency lights in an attempt to stop the pickup.
After activating his emergency lights, Officer Knaack noted that the pickup showed no signs of slowing down or stopping. Officer Knaack then activated his emergency siren in an attempt to get the pickup to stop. Officer Knaack observed that the pickup’s brake lights activated, but the pickup continued to travel northbound on River Road N.W. without stopping. Office Knaack noted that the pickup continued to travel on River Road N.W. and that his patrol car indicated a pursuit speed up to 70 miles per hour and continued until it turned onto 147th Street S.W., which was a gravel roadway. Officer Knaack was advised that 147th Street S.W. is a dead-end roadway, and he noted that it became difficult for Officer Knaack to see the pickup due to the dust from the gravel roadway. Officer Knaack slowed down and approached the dead-end of the roadway, at which time he observed tracks and a dust trail indicating that the pickup continued northbound into a field. Officer Knaack followed the tracks into the field and eventually located that the pickup had stopped.
Officer Knaack, with the assistance of EGFPD Officer Greg Gahlon, then determined that there was no one in the pickup. Officer Knaack could hear branches breaking in the woods near his location, and the sound was consistent with someone running through thick brush. Officer Knaack gave verbal commands for the person to come out of the woods. Officer Knack noted that he could still hear branches breaking inside the woods, but no one came out of the woods. Officer Knaack looked inside the pickup for anything that could identify the driver, where he observed a red shirt, which he recognized from earlier when he saw the pickup pass him on Demers Avenue.
Law enforcement officers then set up a perimeter in the area and called for a K-9 to come and track the driver who had fled from the pickup. While waiting for the K-9, EGFPD Officer Douglas observed a male person without a shirt climbing up onto a John Deere Loader belonging to RJ Zavoral & Sons Company. Officer Douglas informed other officers and then proceeded towards the area of the loader. As he did so, he noted that the male exited the loader and fled on foot towards the area of the Red River. Officer Knaack, who had arrived in the area, observed the male running north into some woods. Officer Knaack began to chase the male on foot, but the male made it into heavy brush and woods. Officer Knaack observed and followed footprints into the woods while giving commands for the male to stop. Officer Knaack noted that he could hear branches breaking a short distance in front of him. Officer Knaack then heard a loud splash and observed ripples in the river near him. Officer Knaack advised other law enforcement personnel that the male may have jumped into the Red River.
EGFPD Dispatch advised that the pickup was registered to M.V.K. Dispatch contacted M.V.K., who indicated that his son, J.M.K., was in possession of the pickup and was in Grand Forks. Eventually, J.M.K. contacted the EGFPD and was advised that the pickup was stolen from Grand Forks.
Subsequently, at approximately 6:36 a.m., EGPFD Officer Lance Kallinen was helping with surveillance in the area where the male fled. At that time, Officer Kallinen observed a shirtless male swimming in the Red River. Officer Kallinen radioed the position of the male to other officers, and Officer Knacck when to that location, where he located the male in the river. Officer Knaack gave commands to the male to exit the river, but the male swam towards the North Dakota side of the river. Officer Knaacke noted that the male appeared extremely exhausted and started to just float down the river. Eventually, EGFPD Officer Tyler Hajicek observed that the male had made it to the North Dakota side of the river. Officer Hajicek relayed this information to other EGFPD officers, who had proceeded to the North Dakota side of the river to locate the male.
On the North Dakota side of the Red River, EGFPD Officer Nick Gunderson was assisted by Grand Forks Police Department Officer Sell entered the woods at the location where Officer Hajicke observed the male exit the river. Officer Gunderson and Officer Sell then located a wet male who was not wearing any shirt. The male was identified as Jerome Anthony White, who then was placed under arrest. Jerome Anthony White then agreed to return to the Minnesota side of the river with Officer Gunderson. After being cleared by medical personnel, Jerome Anthony White was transported to the EGFPD.
A review of the Minnesota Courts’ website reveals that Jerome Anthony White has numerous felony cases open in Minnesota in various counties. Those cases include charges of Felony Theft, Attempted Aggravated Robbery, Second- and Third-Degree Assault, and Felony Receiving Stolen Property.