Two chases, same person, same results
For small towns like Kasson, the police department may go a whole year without any vehicle chases.
So far in 2019, they have had two chases with the same person.
According to a complaint, the first incident took place on Jan.4, when a officer was dispatched in Dodge County regarding a driver complaint. It was reported that her son, James Robert Novak, 29, was driving around intoxicated with a gun.
The officer located the vehicle and attempted to pull it over. But the vehicle fled, and police gave chase. The officer reportedly observed the vehicle driving over 100 mph.
The pursuit lasted for about six miles ending when Novak went off the road and the vehicle stopped in a field. At that point, Novak exited the vehicle and fled on foot, at which point he was ordered to the ground multiple times.
Once Novak was apprehended, he informed the officer that the gun was in the vehicle. The officer could smell the odor of alcohol coming from Novak’s body. A preliminary breath test was taken from medical services, and the tests results showed a reading of .183, which is more than double the legal limit to drive.
A Kasson officer completed inventory of Novak’s vehicle and found a loaded handgun with two additional magazines in the front passenger seat, an empty and full beer can and a empty 1.75 ml bottle of whiskey on the floor of the front passenger's seat, along with a marijuana grinder with marijuana residue in the center console.
Due to complaining of a hurting back, he was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital and was being treated for a compound fracture on a vertebrae. Due to a lack of mobility, he was not accepted into the Steele County Jail, and was released with charges to come at a later date.
From this incident, Novak was charged with a felony count of fleeing from a police officer in a motor vehicle, a gross misdemeanor count of possessing a pistol without a permit in public place, subsequent offense, and two misdemeanor charges.
Last Week’s Chase
According to law enforcement, a second pursuit involving Novak began Feb. 6 around 1:30 a.m.
Novak was pulled over in Olmsted County, according to law enforcement, for a headlight that was out and for snow covering the license plate.
After speaking with law enforcement for a moment through his window, Novak allegedly drove off.
Novak made his way onto Highway 14, after going through a stop sign, police said.
The State Patrol eventually took over the pursuit in Dodge County on Highway 14 in the Kasson area.
Kasson Police helped end the pursuit by deploying stop sticks, which forced Novak to stop near Dodge Center where he was arrested.
According to court records, no charges have been filed from this incident at the time of publication.
The DCI will provide an updated story on the incident if charges are filed.