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MN to WI traffic chase ends in theft and drug charges for Hastings couple

Olyanna S. Spychalla1 / 2
Joshua S. Holt2 / 2

A May 19 traffic chase resulted in a crash and multiple charges against the Hastings driver and his passenger after the Pierce County Sheriff's Department discovered meth and THC in the vehicle.

Joshua S. Holt, 30, Hastings, Minn., and Olyana S. Spychalla, 29, Hastings, Minn., were taken into custody with the aid of Goodhue County Sheriff's Department and Red Wing Police. The pursuit ended in a crash on County Road C near Highway 35 in Hager City around 8:57 p.m. May 19 where the driver attempted to flee.

The driver, Holt, has been charged with identity theft - financial gain, attempting to flee or elude an officer, possession of meth, THC and drug paraphernalia and operating without a license - second offense within three years.

His passenger and girlfriend, Spychalla, is facing charges for identity theft - financial gain, possession of meth - as a party to a crime and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both were released on a $10,000 signature bond May 21 and a preliminary hearing for the two will take place Aug. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Pierce County Courthouse.

According to a criminal complaint:

Red Wing police were advised a theft was occurring at a laundromat in Red Wing, where a person was allegedly using a stolen credit card.

As officers were dispatched to stop any person at the business, a black Ford Explorer was fleeing the scene.

Red Wing officers attempted to perform a traffic stop, but the vehicle increased speed and a traffic pursuit ensued. Officers followed the vehicle through multiple neighborhoods downtown and through the east end of Red Wing with little to no traffic.

Three officers pursued the vehicle as the chase continued to Wisconsin.

Pierce County Sheriff's deputies were informed of the traffic pursuit in Red Wing at 8:50 p.m.

Minutes later the chase entered Wisconsin on Highway 63 as Goodhue and Red Wing law enforcement continued to pursue the vehicle. The vehicle attempted to turn on County Road C and crashed in a wooded area.

A Red Wing officer and Goodhue County deputy made contact with the female passenger, Spychalla, who was prone on the ground.

A Pierce County deputy, another Red Wing officer and later a K9 partner attempted to search for other occupants who may have fled in the woods.

At 9:04 p.m. officers located the driver who self-identified as Joshua Holt; the Pierce County deputy recognized him from previous contacts.

Holt was taken into custody and stated he had been running from a welfare check to which Pierce County was possibly responding. The Pierce County deputy informed him there were no welfare checks called in that evening.

No contraband was found on Holt's or Spychalla's persons.

EMS was requested to evaluate Holt and later cleared him for injuries though he complained of soreness on the side of his neck. Holt was also medically cleared by the River Falls Area Hospital Emergency Room before being transported to the jail.

A search warrant for the suspect vehicle revealed 10 grams of meth, bubble pipes with meth inside, 4.59 grams of THC and multiple items belonging to people other than Spychalla or Holt including: Postal mail, a pay stub, a California license, blank checks, a bank card and a Walmart card.

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