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Coleraine man charged after police chase, crash sent Itasca Co. deputy to hospital

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 12:11 PM CST
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DEER RIVER, MN -- A Coleraine man has been charged after police say he rammed into a Itasca County squad car during a high speed chase Monday morning, sending a sheriff’s deputy to the hospital.

John Michael Ryan, 31, is facing 10 charges, including: two counts of felony assault in the second degree, fleeing police, and criminal damage to property, among others.

John Michael Ryan
John Michael Ryan(CBS 3 Duluth)

According to court documents, Ryan called Itasca County dispatchers around 6 a.m. Monday saying he thought people people were following him and that there were foot tracks in the snow in his yard.

Dispatchers said Ryan made other “paranoid” claims, adding that he called several more times and hung up.

Dispatchers told deputies in the area that Ryan said he was driving around the Cohassett area at the time he made the calls.

According to court documents, dispatchers asked Ryan if he would pull over so he could speak with a deputy.

He apparently told dispatchers that he did not know what he might do to the deputy if he were confronted.

Eventually, deputies found Ryan parked in a white SUV near Deer River High School’s football field.

A sergeant approached the vehicle and suggested he and Ryan go to the hospital where Ryan could discuss the issues he was experiencing with someone.

Ryan said no and backed into a Deer River Police squad car that had parked behind him for backup.

He then sped off onto County Road 139.

Squads began chasing Ryan.

At some point during the chase, Ryan slammed into Itasca County Deputy Derek Hanson’s squad car, which was coming the other way on County Road 139.

Deputy Hanson’s squad turned sideways in the road and Ryan’s vehicle went into the ditch.

Another deputy said Hanson got out of his squad car and collapsed to the ground in pain, having a difficult time breathing.

Ryan, who had minor injuries, was handcuffed and taken to the hospital in the back of a squad car.

Hanson was hospitalized and treated for chest and head injuries as well as a lumbar strain. He was also diagnosed with a concussion.

There was also extensive damage to the front end of Hanson’s squad, according to court documents.

Authorities seized a digital scale Ryan allegedly had on him at the time of his arrest, but authorities say no drug evidence was evident on the device.

A blood sample from Ryan has been submitted to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

According to court documents, Ryan had previously been under civil commitment in the past and was discharged in June 2021.

It was not immediately clear when his next court appearance will be.

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