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Armed man arrested after Maplewood standoff — his second this year, authorities say

For the second time in a two-month span, police say a man led officers on a high-speed chase before holding them at bay in an hours-long standoff.

Police said they arrested Kelly Gordon Sauer, 48, early Wednesday in Maplewood after he made threats about being armed and wouldn’t exit a stolen vehicle. At the end of March, Sauer was charged in a similar case in Edina.

Sauer, of St. Paul, posted bail after the previous incident, but a warrant was issued for his arrest after he was a no-show at a hearing a month ago.

Kelly Gordon Sauer (Courtesy of Ramsey County sheriff’s office)

On Tuesday at about 9:30 p.m., St. Paul officers found a vehicle with stolen license plates and tried to pull it over in the area of Edgerton Street and Hoyt Avenue. The Honda CRV was also stolen, said Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman.

The driver sped off and reached speeds around 90 mph on Larpenteur Avenue. He turned onto a dead-end on Sylvan Street, cut into a yard, drove through a chainlink fence, struck the staircase of a deck, turned the vehicle and then crashed into a retaining wall, Linders said. It was in the 1700 block of Sylvan Street, which is off Rice Street, in Maplewood.

Clara Hodgin thought it was thunder when she heard a loud sound outside her house on Tuesday night. She looked out the window and never expected to see a vehicle had torn up the yard she spends so much time planting and making beautiful.

Officers evacuated people from surrounding homes and police knocked on Hodgin’s door, but she decided to go to the basement instead of leaving.

“They said to stay away from the windows, but they had him surrounded,” Hodgin said.

Officers approached the vehicle and the driver, identified as Sauer, ignored them at first. At one point, he yelled to officers he wasn’t coming out and he had a gun.

Police saw what they believed to be the barrel of a handgun pointed out the vehicle’s window. Sauer repeatedly told officers they were going to have to kill him, according to Linders.

The SWAT team and police negotiators responded.

Negotiators talked to Sauer until he agreed to come out of the vehicle about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Sauer was booked into the Ramsey County jail on suspicion of fleeing police in a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm by an ineligible person, auto theft and criminal damage to property. The attorney in his previous case could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

PREVIOUS STANDOFF IN EDINA

On March 23 about 9:35 a.m., Edina police responded to a call from someone visiting Bredesen Park who reported two people sleeping inside a running vehicle.

Officers woke the people and started talking to them. The passenger got out, but the driver “became agitated, reversed the four-door Chevy pickup truck and repeatedly rammed two squad cars to exit the park,” according to a statement from police about Sauer.

Sauer led police on a chase and drove at speeds of 90 mph, according to a criminal complaint charging him with fleeing police in a motor vehicle.

When he tried to drive onto Minnesota 100, he lost control and drove into a fence. Sauer attempted to back up and struck another squad car.

Police vehicles pinned the pickup truck in, but Sauer would not get out. He threatened officers and said he was armed, Edina police reported. He also told police they would need to shoot him, the complaint said.

Police closed Minnesota 100 in both directions in the area, and negotiation and SWAT teams responded. Negotiations continued into the afternoon, when Sauer got out of his vehicle and was arrested.

Police said they determined the pickup truck was stolen in January from a lawn-maintenance company in Rosemount.

Hennepin County prosecutors charged Sauer on March 26 and a judge ordered him to undergo a chemical dependency evaluation.

Sauer posted a $20,000 bond on April 3 but didn’t appear at an April 23 hearing, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

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