Weather Forecast


Granite Falls man airlifted for apparent overdose after high-speed chase

GRANITE FALLS — Bail was set at $20,000 for a defendant accused of leading police on a high-speed chase that ended with his being airlifted for medical care after he suffered a suspected drug overdose.

Bail was set and an arrest warrant issued Monday for Forrestt Duwayne LaBatte, 29, of Granite Falls, in Yellow Medicine County District Court in Granite Falls. He faces felony charges of fleeing a police officer, fifth-degree controlled substance possession, a gross misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired, and a misdemeanor charge of driving after revocation.

The criminal complaint alleges that LaBatte led police on a high-speed chase at 10:45 p.m. Feb. 7. The chase ensued through the downtown of Granite Falls, north to Chippewa County Road 38, into a farm driveway and residence, and north on state Highway 23 to Maynard with speeds reaching 100 miles per hour. It continued through Maynard and north on a county road to state Highway 7, where it ended when LaBatte pulled over just west of Clara City.

He was driving a silver-colored Cadillac and had sped away from a Casey's convenience store after a Granite Falls police officer had observed him there.

LaBatte was taken into custody after he pulled over. He was reported to have been very disoriented, very sweaty and shivering. Officers believe he may have consumed the remainder of a controlled substance prior to being taken into custody.

He was transported to the Yellow Medicine County Jail, where a nurse stated that he needed medical attention. He was taken to the Granite Falls Hospital emergency room and subsequently airlifted by helicopter. Hospital staff performed a rapid sequence intubation process due to uncontrollable body tremors and convulsions.

Officers found methamphetamine and marijuana oil and wax in his vehicle after obtaining a search warrant.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

(320) 214-4335