Sep. 28-A high-speed chase that started Monday night after a deputy was punched in the face outside an apartment complex in Stillwater ended 15 minutes later in St. Paul when the suspect crashed his SUV head-on into another vehicle at West Seventh and Wabasha streets.
Nicholaos Kremetis, 33, of St. Paul, was arrested on numerous felony warrants and on suspicion of criminal vehicular operation, fifth-degree assault and fleeing a peace officer. He was being held Tuesday at the Washington County Jail in Stillwater.
The incident started at 9:44 p.m. Monday in the 14000 block of North 62nd St. in Stillwater when Kremetis spotted a Washington County Sheriff's Office deputy sitting in an unmarked car parked on the street. Kremetis approached the officer, who was not in uniform, and punched him in the face, according to police reports.
Kremetis then fled the scene in a silver Chevrolet Suburban. A Stillwater police officer spotted the SUV and police and Washington County sheriff's deputies chased him west on Minnesota 36.
The chase made its way through the East Side of St. Paul and into downtown. Kremetis then crashed head-on into another vehicle at West Seventh and Wabasha streets at 10 p.m.
A woman and her daughter who were inside the vehicle were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, said Steve Linders, a police spokesman. The deputy was treated at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater and released.
St. Paul police, who were not involved in the pursuit, put out stop sticks to try and stop the car, according to Linders.
Kremetis has an extensive criminal record stretching back to 2009, with four convictions of fleeing police, and one pending. His record also includes four convictions for lying to police, 10 theft convictions, four for burglary, three for fraud, two traffic violations and one each for drugs and a hit-and-run of an unoccupied vehicle.
"This is an individual who does not care about people," Washington County Sheriff Dan Starry said. "He went up and punched a random stranger, who was our deputy, without being provoked. ... He's a wanted felon, and we're grateful he was taken into custody."
Staff writers Mara H. Gottfried and Deanna Weniger contributed to this report.