On Thursday, October 13, 2022, at approximately 12:19 PM, information was received relating to a stolen white semi-tractor pulling a 44-foot flatbed trailer with a blue Moffit forklift on the back of the trailer. It was reported stolen form a parking lot in Fridley, MN and the owner was following it.
As information continued to be received, area agencies set up to locate this stolen semi-tractor and trailer as it was reported to be in the Stearns County jurisdiction. The Avon Police Department, along with other area agencies, located the vehicle on I94 near Co Rd 2 and ultimately attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The driver of the semi-tractor and trailer did not comply with officers attempting to conduct the traffic stop and continued driving on I94 westbound without stopping for the officers.
Officers did engage in a pursuit of the vehicle and did deploy stop sticks. Just prior to reaching the New Munich, MN exit the front tire did blow apart and the driver lost control going into the north ditch. Officers conducted a felony traffic stop on the vehicle, and the driver and only occupant was taken into custody without incident. No weapons were used by the agency or the suspect. No injuries were sustained to the officers or suspect. No other vehicles were involved.
At the scene, the driver exhibited signs of intoxication and was processed during the investigation for driving while intoxicated. The semi-tractor and trailer were towed from the scene.
The driver, Isaac Lee Birdinground JR, age 38, from Garryowen, Montana, was taken into custody and is currently being held at the Stearns County Jail pending charges. Charges are being reviewed by the Stearns County Attorney’s Office for Felony Possession/Receiving Stolen Property, Felony Flee a Police Officer, and 4th Degree Driving While Intoxicated.
Multiple agencies assisted the Avon Police Department in the incident in Stearns County: Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Albany, Belgrade, Melrose, Sauk Centre, and St. Joseph Police Departments. Fridley Police Department is also actively investigating as well.
Submitted by: Chief Corey F. Nellis, Avon Police Department