Longtime fugitive facing 15 charges in Olmsted and Fillmore counties takes plea deal

Law enforcement says he escaped arrest four times.

Posted: Nov 30, 2020 5:11 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A man charged in five criminal chases in two counties reaches a plea deal with authorities.

Brian Keith Rathbun, 54 of Wykoff, was facing 15 criminal charges in Olmsted and Fillmore counties when he pleaded guilty Monday to fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle in Olmsted and possession of a firearm or ammunition after being convicted of a crime of violence in Fillmore.

Rathbun was accused of evading a traffic stop on March 8, 2019, in Rochester where just under four grams of methamphetamine were found in his vehicle. He was then charged with failing to obey an officer, leading to a car chase on May 13, 2019, that started in Oronoco and reached speeds of 70 to 80 miles per hour. Police say an officer next found Rathbun sleeping in his vehicle in Rochester on September 17, 2019, and after the officer determined there were felony warrants for Rathbun’s arrest, Rathbun again sped away and evaded arrest.

Authorities next tried to capture Rathbun after learning he was at a trailer park in Wykoff. That led to another car chase that reached up to 80 miles per hour where Rathbun again escaped but his vehicle was found. Law enforcement says there were two shotguns and drug paraphernalia in Rathbun’s vehicle.

After being accused again of drug possession in Fillmore County, Rathbun was finally apprehended October 15, 2020 at Willow Creek Campground. Rochester police say Rathbun tried to drive away but officers had blocked the campground exit and when Rathbun tried to run away, he was caught by a police K9 dog.

Rathbun is scheduled to be sentenced on February 1, 2021.

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