High-speed chase through Farmington ends in arrest

Jose Luis Ruiz
Jose Luis Ruiz

A California man accused of fleeing a traffic stop and leading police on a high-speed chase through Farmington last week is now facing multiple charges in district court.

Jose Luis Ruiz, 34, of San Pedro, Calif., allegedly had a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 – more than twice the legal limit – when he was taken into custody in the early morning hours of Thursday, Feb. 21.

The criminal complaint gives the following account:

At about 2:30 a.m. Feb. 21, a Farmington police officer near Eighth and Ash streets observed Ruiz’s vehicle drive through two stop signs while traveling 30-35 mph.

The officer pulled Ruiz over, and a driver’s license check revealed that Ruiz’s license had been revoked for a DUI violation in January of this year. When the officer asked him to step out of the vehicle, Ruiz sped off at a high rate of speed, first north on Fifth Street and then east on Main Street.

As the officer gave chase, Ruiz allegedly drove through several stop signs, extinguished his headlights and, at the roundabout at 190th Street, drove over the center curb and lost control of his vehicle.

At that point, police said, Ruiz drive through the snow and onto a golf course before regaining control and continuing on Highway 3.

After additional officers joined in the pursuit, Ruiz’s vehicle was eventually halted when “stop sticks” were laid on the roadway. Police estimate that throughout the chase Ruiz was traveling at speeds of more than 100 mph.

Ruiz had to be cut out of his seatbelt by arresting officers after he “failed to exit the vehicle or remove his seatbelt,” the complaint said. He allegedly told police he fled the traffic stop because he was drunk, and officers noted that he was slurring his speech, had bloodshot eyes and was swaying back and forth during field sobriety tests.

Ruiz has been charged with fleeing police in a motor vehicle, a felony punishable by up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. He’s also facing two counts of DWI; one count of driving after revocation; and one count of failure to provide proof of insurance.

He remained in the Dakota County Jail as of Monday afternoon with bail set at $50,000. His next court appearance is March 12.