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- Jun 28, 2011
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- East Central MN
Member, from East Central MN
- brushwolf was last seen:
- Jul 1, 2022
- East Central MN
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How I got the user name Brushwolf
Got it from another life, before college or getting married and settling down. At the time (early 70's) I was about 18 years old, long dark blonde hair to my shoulders and hung around a bunch of hardcore party people. BI liked to party too, but I also liked having a steady income, so I tried not to miss much work. But, I did that night...
Thinking back, the 3 other guys involved in this little adventure all ended up going to either a reformatory, or to state prison eventually.
And of the 2 girls (sisters from a nearby small town) involved, one got married later to another friend (who also had been to a youth reformatory). The other girl I was later involved with for a short time before my getting involved with the girl I eventually married. We won't share any girls names, though..
At the time, I was working for a major snowmobile manufacturer as a welder on night shift. So, I generally went to sleep in the wee hours of the morning and got up a little before noon.
Since I had a good income for the day and almost no overhead (living at home), I could afford to buy whatever small stuff I wanted and had just bought some new clothes, beige colored bell bottoms, boots, paisley shirt and a black leather vest.
With plenty of time to kill before going to work in the evening, I decided at mid-afternoon to go downtown to a cafe/bar combo frequented by the party-hearty younger set. So, with a shower and my new duds, I go for a stroll downtown.
Since I only lived about 5-6 city blocks from the cafe and it was a nice sunny autumn day (October I think...), I decided to walk. Had a 57 Ford convertible at the time, but it may not have been running yet either. IDR..
There were several US highways running different directions through town that doubled as cruising routes when just bombing around town. One of those small US highways was on the way to the cafe and had sidewalks (residential area), so that was the road I was walking alongside to get to the cafe downtown.
So, I am just strolling along and a dark blue 65 Impala 2 door hardtop pulls over to the side and people in it are yelling my name. Found that it was 3 guys I knew and 2 girls I also knew.
They invited me to come with them and have a beer, so I jumped in the car, passenger side in the front. Disappearing Danny was at the wheel and I had not seen him for a long time, though the others I saw frequently.
My door had barely gotten closed when a local cop car (68 full size Pontiac with a 400) coming from the opposite direction, pulled an ambitious tires-screeching U-turn and hit the lights and siren to follow us.
WTF? Danny (the driver), didn't stop or pull over. I didn't count on this much excitement.. Had never been in a car running from police pursuit before, or since.
He accelerated and tore through town as fast as he could make corners with the Pontiac in hot pursuit.
We got all the way to the other side of town where there is a divided highway (locally known as the "double lane", because it is the only highway in town with a center grassy boulevard and two lanes both directions). Another cruising the town route from back in the day, but never been down it that fast, before or since.
Out on the double lane Danny was passing everything on the road, going about 80 still in town, swerving around other cars, girls screaming, guys yelling for Danny to stop, total chaos... But he floored the car down the double lane and soon we were out on open highway in the rural farmland countryside doing over 100 mph.
Pontiac squad car was still coming, but fading back as miles slipped by. Red lights getting further and further behind us. Always remembered being amazed that the Impala small block with 6 people in it could outrun a Pontiac 400 with 1 person in it.
A police version yet..
So, everyone is shocked and alarmed that Danny still wasn't stopping, but he didn't say a word. He was totally focused on driving and ignored all the clamor. The 2 other guys (both named Galen) were half in the bag anyway (drinking) and they eventually started laughing and thinking it was funny that we were apparently outrunning the local squad.
Kept going until we were approaching a smaller town 12 miles away. That town had just one cop car, but it was a 70-71 Ford. A maroon one similar in color to MN highway patrol cars at the time, but unmarked with just a spotlight and near absence of any trim distinguishing it.
At the edge of town as we approached, there was the maroon Ford town cop car sitting sideways across the highway. Not to be dissuaded, Danny lets off just a bit and swings around it with two wheels on the shoulder. By then we couldn't even see the Pontiac squad car behind us any more.
After swinging by the cross-wise Ford, Danny puts the Impala back to the floor and keeps going down the same highway. With the speed we were going, Danny also initially put some distance between us and the Ford, since the Ford had to maneuver around on the road to start his pursuit.
However, the Ford wasn't fading in the mirrors as the Pontiac had. We were almost to yet another even smaller town about 6 miles from the last one and the Ford was steadily gaining on us. And would there be another local cop car or a highway patrol waiting at the next town?
Danny abruptly decides to take an unmaintained dirt road off the highway (foot or two of tall dead autumnal grass and weeds on it, so you couldn't really even see the road). He piles on the brakes and with the tires shrieking until we hit the grass, makes the 90 degree turn into the trail.
Danny still managed keep up a good 60+ mph on that road/trail and stayed on it until we got to the other end where it intersected a county gravel road. Car is bouncing all
over and bottoming out, tall grass and weeds flying out around the sides and over the car. Girls are crying..
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), there was no crossing at the other end. Just a ditch. Crossing had been removed, but the ditch wasn't too sharp a grade on either bank. Screaming hysterics and yelling had again resumed and Danny hollered for everyone to SHUT UP! Everyone did..
Danny slows down some and tries to cross the ditch. Presumably he was hoping the momentum of the car would keep it from getting hung up, but it didn't. Car got hung up at front and back bumpers on opposing ditch banks.
The moment that forward momentum ceased, Danny pops his door and is out running across a field towards a large woods away from the highway that we had come from. Me, being in the passenger seat and not really knowing what to think or do, followed suit.
The other 4 passengers, being at a real disadvantage since they had no exit until Danny and I opened our doors and jumped out, were all in a confused panic state (and partially lit, to boot) and all ran the opposite direction back toward the highway we came in on.
Since they had all been drinking, they had that added disadvantage too. Think the girl in the front had taken off back toward the highway and the other 3 people just ran wherever she did. Don't know if Danny was drinking, but he drove quite well and ran faster than anyone, so maybe not..
The maroon Ford small town cop car had chased us all the way down the overgrown road and had pulled up right behind the Impala and corralled the 4 confused other passengers and had them sit on the ground. Danny and I were a good block and a half way by this time and approaching a big woods at a full run.
Behind us we hear a yell "HALT" and then immediately it seemed, a very loud shot rang out. Since it was only a few feet remaining to the woods with heavy brush at its perimeter, and not knowing if another shot was coming - whether we stopped or not - I kept going into the woods with Danny ahead of me. Despite my colorful clothing, this was very thick brush at the edge and hard to see through even in daylight.
I am really thinking WTF is going on here and what is gonna happen next? Trigger-happy cops are now shooting at kids for drinking? This cop must be nuts... I crouched in the woods about 20 feet in and could see other squad cars arriving with more and more officers.
Also I am thinking, I haven't done anything, never even had a drink. Why should I run? Will just sit there quietly a while more and then come out after the trigger-happy guy calms down and other squads arrive.
Meanwhile. I can hear crashing through the brush behind me. I assume that was Danny still going and I have never seen him since. Saw the other 4 people put into squad cars to be hauled back to town. Then thinking I should be able to come out safely now...
Just as I was about to come out, I am still crouched low, silent and have caught my breathe and calmed down. But then, through my vantage point in the lower underbrush I see an officer with a rifle at the ready stealthily walking not 20 feet away from me right outside the woods. Not breathing hardly at all now...
Adrenaline is also going pretty good again by now. Remained motionless and quiet. Nobody is calling for those in the woods to come out. They just are coming after us with guns and already one shot fired (in the air I would imagine..).
So, I just remain where I am. Afraid to move lest a rifle shot seeks out the noise created by moving through the brush. Guy with the rifle continued to move further away down the edge of the woods and out of sight. Now I can at least breathe again.
Waited there until after dark. Probably an hour or two. Observed that all the squad cars were finally gone, the Impala was hauled away on a wrecker. The police must have called it a day, maybe...
But, I could still see spotlights sweeping along up and down the highway as it started to get dark. Well, probably better not go that way then..
So, after ascertaining that there were no more cars very close by any more, hearing distant sirens and seeing no one on foot in the vicinity any more, I decided to continue going directly away from the highway and try to walk to another small town nearby and call a friend to come pick me up. Then change clothes and go to work...
Came out of the woods and started across the open field that was in front of the woods. Back out the same way as I had entered the woods. Walked about a half mile across a field and saw another car go down what appeared to be another perpendicular gravel road in the distance.
No spotlights though, so maybe just an area resident. Open fields on both sides. No car headlights on that distant gravel road any longer. All clear? Better hurry up, or I will be late for work.
Still wondering if the police have lost their collective minds.. Decide to take another run and cross the distant gravel road to the field on the other side. As I crossed that road I suddenly saw headlights again moving in my direction slowly, but a good distance away with spotlights sweeping the fields alongside the gravel road. Guess they haven't called it a day after all...
Running full bore now to get as far away from the gravel road into the field on the far side of the road before the spotlights get near me. It was a pretty wide field and was partly newly-plowed at the edge, but most of it was still grain stubble from the recent harvest. Almost the same color as my bell bottoms though..
When it became apparent that I was not going to get all the way across the stubble field before the spotlights lit it up, I hit the ground and laid down in the stubble as flat as I could with my feet and back toward the road (tan pants matching the stubble and back of the black vest camouflaging my colorful shirt). Arms stretched forward so my sleeves would be behind my body from the road side. Brown boots would be hard to see as well...
As I lay there, the ground lights up all around me as the spotlight sweeps past me a couple times. Motionless again.. Car proceeds down the road and I am soon up again and running, headed for the far side of that stubble field and into another woods. Messed up my new duds though, laying in the field and running through brush and tripping in a furrow on plowed dirt.
Got into the next woods, but it was very dark and soon lost my sense of direction. Every direction I went I eventually ran into water. New boots are wet now. Also hearing animal noises in the woods, farm dogs barking in the distance after already been hours in the woods, what's next? Will some farmers dog come after me if I stumble onto a farmstead out here?
So now what? Don't even know which way I am going any more. Ground is damp, high water table. Climbed up a tree and rested in a crook where I could fall sleep without maybe falling out of the tree. Guessing I will indeed miss work now...
It was getting colder, but I was tired and so was dozing off a few times in the tree. Decided to stay put though until the sun started coming up, so I would at least know which way I was going and could see. Staying in the tree seemed logical compared to finding another road and apparently also risk getting shot at.
When daylight came, I thought this is all just absolutely crazy. I didn't do anything to start with and the worst anyone in the car did (that I knew of..) was consumption of alcohol by a minor. So, what is up with all this aggression and prominent use of guns by police for such trivial offenses?
From my tree perch at daylight, I can see what looks like another nearby road and so I head off for it. Found myself a walking stick and was just strolling down the road, batting pebbles on the road with my walking stick. Am now headed back in the direction of the highway we came in on, but several miles away. I'll hitchhike back to town once I get to the highway...
After about 10 minutes walking down this gravel road, I see a car approaching. And it looks like it has gum ball machines on top. Well, at least it wasn't the small town officer who had fired the shot the evening before, and it is light out so everyone can see what everyone else is doing. Also am wondering why I even ran from the car, but we are where we are now...
So I just continue strolling down the road toward the approaching car. The car pulls up to me and it was a couple young deputies from a neighboring counties sheriff's department. The driver rolls down the window and asks "Are you one of the people from that car that was chased out here last night?" Yes, I am...
"Get in the car".
They drive me to a nearby town where our local Sheriff was waiting at a restaurant and we had breakfast. Nice guy, I later rented a house from him when I moved from home the first time.
He asked me why I ran if I hadn't been drinking, or doing anything illegal. I said "because the crazy small town cop had fired a shot and then when I was going to come out later, the officer with the rifle at the ready stalking the woods perimeter had spooked me even more".
He asked me where was Danny? I said I have no idea. Hadn't seen him since the first woods we had entered. They knew who the 2 missing people were (Danny and I) because the other 4 people in the car (2 Galen's and 2 girls who were all charged with drinking by a minor) had told them who we were.
Sheriff brings me back to our hometown police department and the officers there insist I must have been drinking too, or else I would not have run. I insist that I wasn't and berate them as all having gone crazy bringing out their guns just because some kids are drinking.
Then, before letting me go they told me that the Impala was a stolen car. Danny was being sought on burglary charges and that in one of the burglaries there had been a handgun stolen, which they had recovered from the Impala glove compartment. So, as far as they were concerned, they were chasing at least one armed fugitive and that's why all the guns and armada of squad cars.
Shocker to me... Never knew Danny had a thing for guns, car theft, or burglary. He was always calm, pleasant, sociable and not an aggressive guy. He had been a welder at the same employer as me a year or so before this incident. He actually was a different county's sheriff's son too.
Nobody in the car knew any of this except for Danny, as his crimes had occurred in a town 120 miles away, same town the car was stolen from. In discussing it with the other occupants of the car later, none of us had even seen Danny for over a year until he just pops up that day driving the Impala.
He had just disappeared a year or more previously and nobody knew where he had gone. Then he had just re-appeared with the 65 Impala. Last we had seen him he was driving a 59 Impala, so he apparently liked his Impala's.
The hometown police also said that the officer (now long-deceased) that was driving the Pontiac squad car had arrived at the scene a few minutes after and when he learned who the other 2 persons who had escaped into the woods, had started referring to Danny as "Timberwolf" and me as "Brushwolf" instead of our actual names in radio calls amongst their department members.
So, that's where the screen name Brushwolf comes from. The hometown police gave it to me for escaping into the woods, though I was never charged with anything. IDK if Danny ever learned he was designated "Timberwolf", but he probably has bigger concerns.
But, I heard on the radio that he was found hiding in some farmers hay loft a few days later and he presumably went to do some time after all that. They also said he was just exhausted and hadn't eaten for days, so he didn't resist when he was finally taken in.
I kept this story mostly secret for decades, but since I am retired now it can't be construed as anything more than it was and possibly hurt my employment situation. Recently told my brothers and wife all the details. They find it hard to believe I used to take risks more than I have ever since.
Mr. Reliable, conservative, dependable, easygoing and honest to a fault was once chased through the fields and woods of northern MN by armed police who afterward nicknamed him "Brushwolf" for escaping them until deciding that it was a pointless effort...