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Driver says cocaine, marijuana led to 100-plus-mph chase

The 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of fourth-degree DWI, fleeing in a motor vehicle, hit and run crash and speeding.

U.S. Highway 14 Vehicle Fire
Traffic is backed up in the eastbound lanes of U.S. Highway 14 as firefighters respond to a vehicle fire in Rochester on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — A 24-year-old Rochester man was arrested following a pursuit with law enforcement and a vehicle fire that snarled traffic Monday afternoon, Feb. 28, 2022.

Juan Paulo Martinez Jr. 24, was charged in Olmsted County District Court with felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and gross misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree DWI, careless driving and traffic collision.

A trooper was in the area of eastbound U.S. Highway 14 and Minnesota Highway 57 around 4:15 p.m. Monday when the trooper spotted a Mazda 6 speeding. Court records note that the vehicle was clocked going 118 mph in a 65 mph zone.

Juan Martinez 2.28.22
Juan Martinez
Contributed / Olmsted County Sheriff's Office

The trooper attempted to catch up to the vehicle to perform a traffic stop, following the vehicle onto southbound Olmsted County Road 34 and then onto Country Club Road, where it "appeared to have run a stop sign," the criminal complaint states. The trooper "observed the vehicle fishtail and appear to almost enter a ditch before regaining control and reentering eastbound Highway 14."

The trooper caught up with the Mazda on Highway 14 and recorded the vehicle's license plate before discontinuing the pursuit. Other Minnesota State Patrol troopers located the vehicle on the shoulder of eastbound Highway 14 just east of Seventh Street in Rochester and saw a man, later identified as Martinez, running away from it.

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The vehicle caught fire, which forced law enforcement to stop traffic on a portion of Highway 14 for about 20 minutes as Rochester firefighters worked to put out the fire.

At the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center, Martinez reportedly told troopers "that his speed, and his choice to flee from the troopers were due to him being under the influence of marijuana and cocaine," the criminal complaint states.

Troopers were able to stop Martinez and arrest him. It was later learned that Martinez allegedly hit another vehicle while fleeing.

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Emily Cutts is the Post Bulletin's public safety reporter. She joined the Post Bulletin in July 2018 after stints in Vermont and Western Massachusetts.
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