A Monticello, Minn., man and his 1-year-old baby boy suffered serious injuries after a suspected armed robber crashed into their vehicle in Monticello, Minn. Monday evening.
The Minnesota State Patrol said Big Lake police responded to a reported armed robbery at Tootsies Tavern on 110 Jefferson Boulevard in Big Lake, Minn. around 5:30 p.m.
Investigators say 47-year-old Kevin Greene, of Monticello, told a woman who was working at the tavern's pull-tab booth that he had a gun before reaching into the drawer and taking money.
"She's counting out the cash shortly before shift change," Theresa Brady, manager of the pull-tab booth, told FOX 9 News. "[He] indicates, 'hand me the money, I have a gun,' and she was perplexed. He reaches over the drawer and grabs the money from her.
Brady estimated Greene got away with about $460. He also reportedly left his driver's license at the bar.
A chase began after police saw Greene's 1999 Chevy Suburban stopped at a red light on Highway 25 and Broadway Street, about 5 miles from the tavern.
"The officer was sitting back a distance, waiting for backup units before initiating a traffic stop," Police Chief Joel Scharf told FOX 9 News.
According to police, Greene saw the squad and abruptly turned left, fleeing the wrong way down Broadway Street. Shortly thereafter, he hit a 2008 Honda Accord broadside as it traveled south on Wright County Road 39.
"Probably traveled 2 miles over 2 minutes," Scharf estimated. "Something that unfolded incredibly quickly came to an end incredibly quickly as well."
The sudden crash injured Travis Kolles, 28, and his 1-year-old son, Layton Kolles. Both are being treated at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minn.
"Any time you see innocent people harmed, no matter where it transpires in the community, it pulls at the heart strings of police officers and emergency responders," Scharf said. "It's incredibly tragic."
Greene suffered non life-threatening injuries and is now in custody. State Patrol said he had alcohol in his system. No alcohol was detected on Kolles.
Investigators say the pursuing squad cars were not a factor in causing the crash, and they expect criminal charges will be filed on Wednesday.
Family members tell FOX 9 News they believe 1-year-old Layton will be okay, and they credit his car seat with saving his life.
Yet, the Kolles family is also asking for prayers for Travis Kolles, who is reportedly in a delicate, critical state.
The father and son were just a few miles away from their home when they were struck.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Family of Travis and Layton Kolles have set up a medical fund called the Kolles Family Benefit Fund through the Bank of Elk River.