Casey’s General Store employees praised for helping abducted woman

CANNON FALLS, Minn. — A woman is safe after police said she was abducted by a stranger in the Twin Cities. 

The Cannon Falls Police Department said a woman in her mid-30’s arrived at a Casey’s General Store in Cannon Falls shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday, and told employees she had escaped being abducted.

“It’s such a small town, that kind of stuff doesn’t happen really,” Cannon Falls resident Chasy Grams said.

Responding officers found the suspect shortly after, and a chase ensued through the west side of the southern Minnesota city. At one point, the suspect crashed into a pursuing squad car. 

After the crash, the suspect drove north on Highway 52, eventually out of the sight of traffic cameras, police said. 

Authorities issued an alert for the suspect, who was later spotted in Northfield, heading south on Interstate 35. After another 20-mile chase, the suspect stopped in Faribault, where officers took the suspect into custody. 

The officer involved in the crash was not hurt. 

Police said the man was a stranger. The woman in her mid-30s was not physically hurt, they said.

“I’m glad she came here to this place because we are like a small unit here in Cannon Falls and the type of people you would want to go to for help,” Grams said.

“I think humans have such a wonderful capacity to help each other. And we all want to step up and help each other given the capacity in our hearts to do that but for people to have the bravery in the moment is spectacular,” Julie Kean, who was passing through Cannon Falls said.

Police said the suspect, a 25-year-old man from Minneapolis, is being held at the Goodhue County jail on various charges.

The woman said she got into the man’s vehicle in downtown Minneapolis, expecting him to driver her to a different location. Instead, he drove around the metro area and would not let her go, she said.

Police are looking for the public’s help in this case. The woman who was abducted said she remembers calling for help as her alleged abductor drove near a dock. Police are looking for anyone who heard that call or saw the suspect vehicle.

The dock would have been within 15 minutes of Maple Grove, police believe, and the call for help would have occurred around sunrise on Saturday.

Anyone with information is asked to call 507-263-2278.

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