Tricounty News

Car chase starts in Annandale, ends in W.P. fatalities

Timothy Richard "Ricky" Gilles, 22 of Clearwater, appeared before Judge Vicki Landwehr in Stearns County Monday morning, April 18. At that time, he was charged with a single count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle resulting in the death of another. It is expected that additional charges will be added as the investigation continues.

Gilles faces other charges, and a conviction. Last November, he set fire to his girlfriend's clothes and started a house fire in Waite Park;

he plead guilty to those charges and was to be sentenced for that arson crime. He also faces a domestic abuse charge in Benton County, and a drug charge in Wright County.

On April 6, Gilles was being investigated for narcotics on Norway Drive East in Annandale. Shortly before 5 p.m., Gilles fled in his car as Wright County Sheriff's deputies approached. He ditched his car not far away and fled on foot. Several officers were unable to find him. A charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and another for second-degree assault on a police officer were added to the second-degree controlled substance charge.

On Friday, April 15, Waite Park Police, Stearns County Sheriff, and the Central Minnesota Drug Task Force tried to stop Gilles in his car at the intersection of Highway 15 and 2nd Street South in St. Cloud.

According to the criminal complaint, Gilles made an evasive left-hand turn around a vehicle, over the center median, and raced westbound into the eastbound lane of 2nd Street South, directly into oncoming traffic. (This was right at 5 p.m. Friday.) At Waite Avenue, being pursued by three squad cars, Gilles ran a red light at a high rate of speed; he crashed into the driver-side door of a car making a left turn onto 2nd Street South on a green turn arrow. Gilles then fled on foot and was finally subdued with a Taser and arrested.

The driver, 30-year-old Timothy Casanova of Starbuck, was killed. Casanova's passenger, 22-year-old Megan Thomsen, was taken to St. Cloud Hospital. Thomsen was 32 weeks pregnant and the baby, Timothy James Thomsen, was delivered by C-section; he died a few hours after Gilles' court appearance Monday morning. Megan was listed in fair condition Tuesday.

Gilles' bail was set at $1.5 million. He remains in the Stearns County Jail as authorities continue to investigate the case.