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Charges Filed in Stearns County Shooting, Chase

Jacob Whalen, Keith Kern – Stearns County Jail photos

ST. CLOUD — Two men were charged in a weekend incident where a BB Gun was fired at a another vehicle and police were led on a high speed chase.

The incident happened late Friday night near Holdingford. According to the criminal complaint, two men, 20-year-old Jacob Whalen of Long Prairie and 20-year-old Keith Kern were involved in a fight at a party.

The other group involved in the fight then left and went to another farm party. Whalen and Kern followed. Police say the two were told they weren’t welcome because of the previous fight. Whalen and Kern left, but not before tearing through a farm field.

The group Whalen and Kern fought with followed them and confronted Whalen and Kern along Stearns County Road 9 in Holding Township. Records show Kern got out of the vehicle and waved a sawed-off shotgun-style BB gun at the others. The victims then left and at least one shot was allegedly fired at the vehicle.

Stearns County Sheriff’s deputies then spotted Whalen’s vehicle and tried to make a traffic stop. Records show Whalen led them on a high-speed chase at more than 100-miles-an-hour at times including through a plowed farm field and over a dirt road. Eventually Whalen pulled over and surrendered. Police say they found the gun underneath Kern’s seat.

Whalen faces charges fleeing police and illegally having a gun after being convicted on a crime of violence. He’s being held on $100-thousand bail. Kern has been charged with one count of second degree assault with a firearm. He’s being held on $80-thousand bail.

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