Joseph Michael Dax, 33, Spring Lake Park, was sentenced in Morrison County District Court to seven years of probation and a $50 fine after he was convicted of one felony count of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one felony count of fleeing a peace officer.

On Jan. 10, 2020, the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office received a report from a convenience store in Buckman that there was a vehicle in the parking lot backing up to other vehicles and the driver was brandishing a knife. The clerk reported that the male subject — later identified as Dax — had approached a vehicle with the knife and that the person had to lock the windows and doors of their vehicle to get away.

A deputy responded to the scene and located the suspect vehicle still in the convenience store parking lot. He exited the squad care with his M-16 rife and approached Dax, who was seated in his vehicle and had a knife in his right hand. When he saw the deputy approaching, he drove off toward Highway 25.

The deputy followed in pursuit. Another officer deployed stop sticks near the Skunk River, and Dax eventually had to pull over because all four tires were deflating. The deputy again exited his squad car, this time taking cover with his rifle and waiting for backup to arrive.

An officer was able to convince Dax to throw the keys out and step out of his vehicle, but he refused to follow any other verbal commands. A law enforcement officer then deployed a less lethal round that struck Dax in his back, causing him to fall forward toward the vehicle, but he still refused to follow orders.

Another less lethal round was deployed, this one striking Dax in the arm. He then took off running on foot through a corn field covered with snow. Officers gave chase through the field, while others got in their squad cars and attempted to get ahead of Dax’s path. He eventually ran into an officer, who cut him off. The officer deployed his taser and Dax went to the ground

He was finally placed under arrest, and law enforcement noted he appeared to be under the influence of some type of controlled substance.

Several witnesses at the gas station in Buckman provided statements. One told law enforcement that it appeared he was attempting to drive over an elderly man in the parking lot “by driving very fast toward him.” Another witness said Dax flashed a knife at him, and described that he had seen him lunge at numerous vehicles. Another witness said Dax got out of his vehicle with a knife and approached another man.

Dax declined to give a statement in Morrison County Jail.

Dax was given credit for 110 days of time served in local confinement. If he cannot fill the terms of his probation, a sentence of 76 months in state prison would be imposed.

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