AUSTIN, Minn. – A man seen leaving the scene of a garage fire is pleading not guilty to abducting a woman.
Joseph Henry Mallan, 34 of Austin, is charged with kidnapping, escape from custody, domestic assault, false imprisonment, and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.
Austin police were sent to Mallan’s home in the 700 block of 11th Avenue SW at around 2 am on April 13 after the Department of Corrections received a tamper alert from the electronic home monitoring bracelet Mallan had been ordered to wear after a previous conviction. Officers say Mallan was not there and they were told by his family that Mallan could be with his girlfriend. Police then went to her home but say she was not there and her car was gone. Officers say a witness told them the woman had gone to Mallan’s home to retrieve some property.
Authorities put out an alert for the woman and a warrant for Mallan’s arrest.
Mallan’s home monitoring bracelet was found in the 800 block of 11th Avenue SW and police traced the missing woman’s cell phone to the area around the 2900 block of 29th Avenue SW. However, the phone could not be found.
An officer returned to the area around 4 am to continue looking for the phone and noticed a car that was either stopped or moving very slowing at an intersection. The officer says it matched the description of the missing woman’s car. The officer says as he turned around, the car took off at a high rate of speed and that started a chase that hit speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.
The pursuit continued until the vehicle slowed in the 400 block of 11th Avenue SW and police say Mallan got out and ran away through backyards. The missing woman was found in the passenger seat.
Police say the woman told them when she went to Mallan’s home, he cut off his monitoring bracelet with a knife and ordered her to get into her vehicle. According to court documents, the woman says Mallan took her phone, drove them into the country, and yelled at her about their relationship.
The woman’s phone was also eventually located.
Austin police and fire were then called around 2:48 pm to a garage fire at the home where Mallan lived. Authorities say they were told Mallan has been seen leaving the garage before the fire started.
Mallan was eventually arrested on April 15 after he was discharged from Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin. Police say Mallan went there on April 14 and said he was suffering from a drug overdose.
Mallan has entered a not guilty plea to all charges against him and his trial is scheduled to begin on August 13.