74-mph chase ends with dog shot

By Janice Gregorson

A Claremont man faces criminal charges after allegedly leading police on a chase early Monday that included going through the Saint Marys Hospital emergency entrance area at 74 mph.

The chase ended in rural Rochester with an officer shooting an attacking pit bull.

Adam Joseph Saxton, 26, is charged with fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, a felony, and driving after revocation, a misdemeanor.


According to the criminal complaint:

Rochester police officer Andrew Gagnon tried to stop a pickup in the area of Marion Road and 12th Street Southeast at 1:50 a.m. Gagnon followed the swerving car to the Kwik Trip on 12th Street Southeast, where it stopped.

When Gagnon got out of his squad, the driver of the truck, identified as Saxton, took off. The pursuit went north on Broadway at 40 to 50 mph, then west on Fourth Street Southwest. Saxton went through several stop signs and red lights, the complaint said.

The vehicle went as fast as 74 mph through the Saint Marys Hospital emergency entrance before getting onto Second Street Southwest. Saxton eventually got on U.S. 14 headed toward Byron.

Officers placed stop sticks on the highway at 60th Avenue. When Saxton’s vehicle hit the stop sticks traveling at 85 mph, it went out of control and came to a stop in the median. Saxton got out of the truck and officer Tim Hagen ordered him to get down on the ground, but Saxton didn’t. Gagnon saw Saxton pointing a pit bull at him. The dog charged Gagnon, who had his weapon drawn.

Hagen yelled for Saxton to call back the dog, but the dog continued. Gagnon shot the dog and it ran into the woods. A state trooper used a stun gun to subdue Saxton. Officers could not find the injured pit bull.

Saxton’s bail is set at $50,000, and he returns to court Dec. 8.

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