by Greg Marsten | staff writer
BALSAM LAKE – What started as a possible domestic altercation between a 34-year-old St. Croix Falls man and his girlfriend ended with a high-speed pursuit and the man’s Pontiac upside down on its roof.
According to the probable cause report filed by the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, the incident took place on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 24, and started with a report that Robert Morarie, 34, had been in a domestic situation with his girlfriend, where he allegedly kicked in the front door of the residence and damaged her vehicle, he also is alleged to have tried to forcibly remove her.
Police sought Morarie, and he was spotted in Centuria a short time later. When a PCSD officer stopped him, he briefly spoke to the officer and then sped off at a high rate of speed.
The deputy lost track of the car in the pursuit, but a report came in a short time later that his vehicle was discovered upside down in a ditch near 160th Street and 165th Avenue, but Morarie was not around.
Deputies initiated a canine search, and he was discovered in a nearby barn, and taken into custody.
Morarie is facing multiple charges from the incident, including a felony charge of fleeing an officer. He is also charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, battery criminal damage to property, resisting arrest, failure to install an ignition interlock and for driving while revoked.
He appeared in court before Judge Jeffery Anderson on Jan. 25, where he set a $2,500 cash bond.
Morarie had a preliminary hearing Jan. 29, where he was bound over for trial. He pleaded not guilty and a trial date was set for April 5.