Suspect arrested after Northern Lights Distributing crash, chase

Ertl charged with several felonies

Nicholas Ertl

Fort Dodge police arrested a Fort Dodge man on several charges after they say he attempted to elude them after driving through a garage door Thursday afternoon.

Reports that his vehicle had driven through the garage door at Northern Lights Distributing on Eighth Avenue South came in at about 1:55 p.m. Thursday.

Police said that after crashing into the building, Nicholas Ertl, 32, entered an office space and interacted with employees while in possession of a knife that he did not directly display. After a brief interaction, he got back into his car and exited the building through the garage door.

Officers located a vehicle matching the description near the intersection of Eighth Avenue South and South 25th Street. Police said Ertl refused to stop as they attempted to initiate a traffic stop, continuing to elude officers before abandoning his vehicle and fleeing on foot to an apartment complex at 1127 Fourth Ave. N.

Ertl was taken into custody without incident at the complex. Fort Dodge police said reasoning for his selection of the Northern Lights Distributing facility or the apartment complex in the chain of events is unclear.

Ertl has been charged with two counts of first-degree burglary, a Class B felony; second-degree criminal mischief, a Class D felony; and eluding, a Class D felony.

Ertl also faces two drug charges from an unrelated investigation: possession with intent to deliver a schedule two and schedule three controlled substances, Class C felonies.

Ertl’s initial appearance in Webster County Magistrate Court in scheduled for Friday at 9 a.m.


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