Published April 1, 2024

Deputy Nets Fleeing Suspect

Written by
The Dakotan
| The Dakotan

ND Highway Patrol

Mclean County Sheriff’s Department Pursuit Crash in Burleigh County
What: Injury Crash
Where: Highway 83 Southbound MM 100, 8 miles north of Bismarck
When: 04/01/2024 at 5:04 AM Central
Road Conditions: Good
Weather Conditions: Cloudy
Crash Involvement: Vehicle/Vehicle
Type of Crash: Deployment of Grappler Police Bumper/Rollover
Agencies Involved: Mclean County Sheriff’s Department, Burleigh County Sheriff’s
Department, Wilton Fire Department, ND Highway Patrol
Vehicle No. 1: 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe-Mclean County Sheriff Patrol Vehicle
Driver No. 1: Raymond Copeland, 43-year-old male, Wilton, minor injury
Restraints: Seatbelt in use
Charges: None
Vehicle No. 2: 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt
Driver No. 2: Colton Lauer, 20-year-old male, Lignite, no injury
Restraints: unknown
Charges: Fleeing a Police Officer, Driving Under Suspension, Possession of
Methamphetamine Paraphernalia, Multiple Outstanding Arrest Warrants

NARRATIVE: Vehicle 1, driven by Corporal Raymond Copeland of Mclean County Sheriff’s
Department, was traveling southbound on Highway 83 north of Wilton. Vehicle 2, driven by
Colton Lauer, was also traveling southbound coming up behind Copeland. Lauer would not
pass Copeland’s marked squad car once behind him. Corporal Copeland pulled to the
shoulder. Lauer then took off southbound at a high rate of speed into Burleigh County.
Copeland activated his emergency lights and pursued Lauer for exceeding the speed limit. The
pursuit lasted for approximately 10 miles.

Coroporal Copeland deployed his Grappler Police Bumper to bring the vehicle to a stop. The Grappler consists of a net that wraps around the rear tire of the suspect vehicle and brings the vehicle to a stop when the police vehicle brakes.
Copeland deployed the Grappler wrapping a rear tire with the net. However, both vehicles lost
control and entered the west ditch. Vehicles disconnected and Corporal Copeland’s vehicle
overturned coming to rest in the west ditch on its roof. Lauer also came to rest in the ditch
upright (did not roll) and fled on foot. Lauer was captured a short time later with no reported
injuries. Corporal Copeland was transported to Sanford Hospital with minor injuries. Lauer had
multiple outstanding warrants. He is also being charged with fleeing a police officer,
possession of methamphetamine paraphernalia, and Driving under Suspension.

The crash remains under investigation by the Highway Patrol.

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