by Logan Gruber
A Sauk Rapids man was arrested on multiple charges on Jan. 31 in Sartell.
According to the Sartell Police Department, Matthew Lee, 32, was spotted by an off-duty Sauk Rapids police officer in a vehicle in the parking lot of Walmart looking through a variety of checks. The officer entered the store, and when he exited he noticed Lee was smoking an illegal substance through a glass pipe while still in the vehicle. The officer called the Sartell police and alerted them to the situation.
Before arriving, Sartell police were able to ascertain the owner of the vehicle was being investigated for several check forgery cases.
Upon arrival, a Sartell officer located Lee inside the store trying to purchase $322.97 in merchandise with two checks, neither of which were being accepted by the check system.
As Lee tried to exit the store the officer made contact. Lee denied his identity and provided a fake ID. The officer attempted to walk Lee out to his squad car when Lee began to flee, running through the parking lot and hiding under a vehicle. The officer approached the vehicle and advised him to come out peacefully, but Lee began running again until he was stopped by a citizen. The suspect was then arrested.
The officer was able to recover the two checks, which had account numbers belonging to other citizens.
When a search warrant was executed on the vehicle, the officer located a small baggie filled with a crystal substance which tested positive for methamphetamine in the amount of 1.1 grams.
Lee was charged with fifth-degree drug possession, check forgery, fleeing a peace officer by means other than a motor vehicle and giving a police officer a false ID. His bail has been set at $25,000.