Man Arrested in Chase, Fiery Crash in St. Paul

Updated: 04/01/2013 12:10 PM KSTP.com By: Maricella Miranda

Police arrested a 33-year-old man in connection with a police chase that ended in a crash, setting another car on fire.

Florencio Cordero, of St. Paul, is being held on suspicion of probable cause criminal vehicular operation and fleeing from police.

Cordero reportedly entered an intersection early Saturday morning at Dale Street and Minnehaha Avenue when his vehicle T-boned another, according to Roseville police. Cordero allegedly was attempting to flee from police at the time.

Police reportedly tried to stop Cordero, who was driving a 2003 Hyundai Elantra eastbound on State Highway 36 at Victoria Street. The traffic stop at about 12:28 a.m. was prompted by an equipment violation on Cordero's vehicle, according to police.

The vehicle slowed and exited onto Dale Street and continued traveling without attempting to stop for the squad's emergency lights and siren, police reported. The vehicle traveled south on Dale Street through the intersection at County Road B against a red, semaphore light.

The pursuit continued south on Dale Street for about 3 miles, according to police. It ended when the Elantra crashed into a 2006 Nissan Murano after the Elantra entered the semaphore-controlled intersection on a red light.

The Elantra was driving more than 60 mph at the time, police reported. The Murano was eastbound on Minnehaha.

The Murano immediately burst into flames, stopping in a parking lot in the southeast corner of the intersection, police reported. The Murano's driver, a 28-year-old woman, was conscious and trapped in the burning vehicle.

Police successfully removed the woman before the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. She is currently being treated at a St. Paul hospital for non-life threatening, substantial injuries.

Cordero was found conscious, screaming in pain and trapped inside the Elantra, according to police. St. Paul firefighters extricated Cordero from the vehicle.

Cordero is being treated at a St. Paul hospital for substantial bodily injuries.

Evidence collected by police at the crash site indicates that Cordero might have been consuming alcohol earlier in the night, according to police.

Police plan to submit the case to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office next week for possible charges, which could include criminal vehicular injury and fleeing from police resulting in bodily injury.

Anyone with information about Cordero's whereabouts before the crash can call police at Crime Stoppers of Minnesota 1-800-222-8477, or send a text message to 274637 with the label "Tip674" and your tip. A reward could be possible for tips received.

KSTP.com will continue following this story and report any updates.