Workers evacuate Medtronics plant in Wabasha after explosives threat

Workers evacuated the Medtronic manufacturing plant in Wabasha Thursday afternoon after an explosives threat was found about 12:25 p.m. in a plant bathroom.

“The note said the building was going to blow up,” said Wabasha Police Officer Randy Wagoner. “So somebody hit the fire alarm and everybody evacuated.”

Wagoner said the workers later went home after Medtronic decided to close the facility for the afternoon and evening shifts while officers checked the facility.

Police and sheriff’s deputies used the hospital across the street as a staging area, but when they went through the plant, nothing was found. As a precaution, a bomb-sniffing dog from Rochester was also deployed, but also did not find anything.

“We are aware of a threat at our facility in Wabasha and are cooperating with local authorities,” said Medtronic spokesman Fernando Vivanco. “The safety of employees is our top priority and we evacuated our facility earlier today. The local authorities conducted a full sweep and have concluded the facility is clear. We expect the location will resume operations tomorrow morning.”

Three arrested in Olmsted County burglary

NEAR ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Three people were arrested Sunday after a burglary just northeast of Rochester.

According to the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, a 67-year-old woman looked out the window at her home on the 7200 block of Dresser Dr. NE in Haverhill Township at about 6:28 a.m. Sunday, and saw lights in her detached garage. She watched as two people left the garage and she contacted law enforcement.

The two suspects ran away when deputies arrived. Paul Moe, 26 of Lake City was quickly captured on the property. Ashton Lee, 23 of Dodge Center was tracked down 6.5 miles away from the property by a K9 and tracks in the snow.

Deputies saw a car driving slowly near the scene of the burglary and pulled it over. The sheriff’s office said they discovered the driver, Scott Boland, 44 of Rochester, was connected to the burglary and arrested. Deputies found 7.5 grams of methamphetamine on Boland when he was taken to the jail. He also admitted to swallowing some methamphetamine when he first saw law enforcement. Boland was taken to Mayo Clinic – Saint Marys for treatment.

Moe, Lee and Boland each face burglary charges. Boland also faces a drug possession charge.

Olmsted County K9 receives potentially life-saving gift of body armor

KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Jango in his new vest / Photo: Olmsted County Sheriff's Office
Jango in his new vest / Photo: Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office

The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office has received a gift of body armor for its K9 Jango.

The vest, which is bullet and stab protective, was a gift from a non-profit group in Massachusetts called Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

The vests are made in the United States and can make a life saving difference for the K9s working hard to keep us safe.

K9 vests can cost up to $2,200 and come with a five year warranty.

Rochester K9 Officers Train to Detect Explosives

Created: 12/08/2015 7:17 PM
Ben Henry

(ABC 6 News) — Local authorities not only turn to their partners or back-up for assistance, but also count on their four-legged officers in the department.

“Yeah, they are excited to work all the time,” said Rochester Police Officer Wade Blazejak.

Blazejak is one of Rochester Police Department’s K9 handlers. He is teamed up with a German Shepard named Riot; they were brought together in March of this year.

Blazejak’s K9, as well as two other German Shepherds and two Labradors, are going through training to enhance their specific skills.

“Each dog has individual strengths, and there are areas we can certainly improve upon. So we are here, breaking things down session by session,” Blazejak said.

We first introduced you to two labs in May when they were just puppies and didn’t have names. On Tuesday, Riley and Sarge were being trained to detect explosives.

“It certainly makes our job easier,” said Sergeant Paul Wilson with the Rochester Police Department’s Narcotic’s Unit.

Just last month, a K9 unit was called to the Rochester International Airport’s FedEx Terminal for a major drug bust. Because the K9 detected drugs, authorities were able to follow through with a search warrant that led to an arrest.

“That package sniff that occurred that day was an integral part of us obtaining that search warrant,” said Wilson, “It was the final piece of probable cause we needed to get our search warrant to precede with our investigation. We certainly could have not done that without the dog.”

Earlier in November, one of Olmsted County’s K9 units was used during the bomb scare at Crossroads Center; warning authorities it had detected explosives in the car in question.

“Gradually, as the K9 department has gotten bigger and bigger, we’re always reaching out to them,” Wilson added.

These dogs can serve all up to 10 years, and the Rochester Police Department considers them a good asset to the community.

K9 Unit Searching Area in Rochester Following Break-in

Created: 11/05/2015 1:49 PM
(ABC 6 News) — Several police were searching the area on the 2800 block of 26th St. NW after a report of a break-in at a home.

According to police, a man arrived at home and heard noises coming from inside the house. The homeowner called 9-1-1. When police arrived, they went inside and also heard noises. Authorities say someone escape through a basement window.

The Olmsted County K9 Unit was brought in to search the surrounding area, but did not find anyone.

UPDATE: Bomb Squad Gives an All Clear

Updated: 11/04/2015 9:48 PM
Created: 11/04/2015 1:24 PM
By: Ben Henry

4:23: Bomb squad gives an all clear.

3:23: Bomb squad robot is going into the car to search for explosives

3:06: A bomb squad from the Twin Cities has just arrived at the scene.

2:56 pm: We have just confirmed the suspect in the car flagged for explosives in Rochester is the same man flagged for a bomb threat at MSP airport this morning.

According to the Minneapolis Airport Commission, the suspect was driving erratically, yelling something out the window about the possibility of a bomb being in the airport.

Two people then made 911 calls.

The suspect fled and made it to Apply Valley, where he was pulled over for driving erratically, but not for the bomb threat.

When police were checking him out there, he fled again.

He ended up making his way to Rochester.

FBI is currently interviewing him right now to make sure he is the same person, but according to the Minneapolis Airport Commission, they believe he is the same person.

Family members told police this man has mental health issues.

(ABC 6 News) — Multiple Rochester police vehicles are surrounding a car in the parking lot of Home Federal Bank in Crossroads Center.

Around noon, police pulled over a car. According to police, someone reported a suspicious person naked inside the car. Police say the driver fled when officers arrived. The plate was ran, and came back with an alert tied to bomb threats previously made at MSP airport.

However, we know the Olmsted County Sheriff K9 Unit was brought to the scene.

A red Nissan Altima was searched, and Capt. John Sherwin says the dog detected explosive materials. Our news crew has been asked to move away from the scene. Police have set up a perimeter and are waiting for the bomb squad to arrive. The evacuation is not mandatory; however, police are helping them leave if they chose to evacuate.

According to one witness, police sped past the area, chasing the car into the parking lot. They say police had guns drawn on the person was inside that vehicle.

Friedell Middle School executed a modified dismissal on the east side of the the school, opposite the active police scene.

This is a developing story. Stay with ABC 6 News for more information as it becomes available.

K-9 officer captures man who fled from deputies

EYOTA, Minn. (KTTC) – By Kimberly Davis, Anchor/Reporter

With the help of a K-9 officer, a suspect who fled on foot was captured and arrested early Sunday morning.

Stephen Grogg, 36, of Rochester and Thomas Iverson, 45, of Houston were arrested around 12:30 a.m. Sunday in Eyota at Highway 42 near Interstate-90. Law enforcement said an Olmsted County Deputy conducted a speeding traffic stop, and Iverson got out of the vehicle and took off when the deputy got back into his car.

Grogg was arrested after Iverson took off. Deputies say a K-9 was bought in to apprehend Iverson, who was hiding behind bushes and not cooperating with deputies. The dog latched on to Iverson’s arm and he surrendered. Capt. Scott Behrns of the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office said 17 grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia was found inside Grogg’s vehicle.

Iverson apparently had several warrants out for his arrest, including one felony warrant out of Olmsted County. Both are facing a number of charges including 2nd degree possession of meth.

K9 Officers and Their Partners Show-Off at 6th Annual Slobberfest

Created: 09/12/2015 11:44 PM
By: Karsen Forsman

(ABC 6 NEWS) – For law enforcement their mission is to keep a community safe and for some officers they have the privilege to work alongside a furry partner.

On Saturday the Rochester Police Department and Olmsted County Sheriff held a K-9 demonstration at the sixth annual Slobberfest.

“It lets the public know that this is what we are here for. Not only are we just police officers we are also caretakers of animals, we’re just as human as everyone else,” says Officer Brian Roussell.

Eight canines make up the Rochester Police Department. Rochester Police recently acquired two new dogs to specialize in explosives.

“There’s going to be different situations that arise with a city this size. With the new single purpose explosive canines coming on the street there going to be able to provide a service to the Mayo Clinic and other organizations here,” says Officer James Kenison.

Kenison has been with the Rochester Police Department since 2010. He says with the growth of Rochester, adding more dogs to the department are important.

“Training is key for these dogs to keep them at the level we need to help provide that service for the city and the people we protect,” says Kenison.

Officers say the demonstration allowed people of the community to get up close with the dogs and interact. They say it also helped the dogs become more immune to human activity.

“When dignitaries come into town, if the airport requests us to do any sweeps, anyone that thinks there might be a suspicious package our job is to go out there to see if it is one, and if it is to get people out of there and call in the bomb squad,” says Roussell.

Rochester bomb dogs getting names

By Adam Sallet – KIMT News
Published: September 11, 2015, 1:50 pm | Updated: September 11, 2015, 5:42 pm

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A very lucky group of local elementary school children were able to name one of Rochester’s finest. Don’t worry however, the public will get a chance to do it as well.

Dozens of students packed a classroom at Gage Elementary on Friday morning for a visit from not one, but two brand new bomb sniffing dogs. As you have probably guessed, these new officers will be trying to detect bombs in many areas like airports and hotels. Their handlers, Rochester Police officers, have had each puppy for about two weeks now and these students get to name one of them. Officer Brian Roussell had picked out four different names for the kids to vote on and they came to a decision that Sarge was the best fitting one, which Roussell says holds a special place in his heart. “Sarge was one of my uncle’s horses that we used for mounted posse and unfortunately due to cancer he passed away recently so it was kind of one of those dedication to him because I’m in law enforcement because of him,” he says.

As for the other is still unnamed. However, you can vote online to name the puppy, simply click here to find out more.

Gage Elementary students select Rochester K-9 officers’ new names

KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Kimberly Davis, Anchor/Reporter: ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)
The 5th grade class of Gage Elementary School had two special visitors Friday morning, and one K-9 visitor finally got his name. Students were very excited for the two young K-9 officers to make a visit to Gage and the students were anxious to tell the handler his dog’s new name.

Out of the four names, the students chose the name Sarge for officer Brian Roussell’s K-9.

The K-9s will be used as part of the Rochester Police Department’s new bomb program.The K-9’s sole purpose will be to sniff out bombs, and to keep our community safe.

According to the Rochester Police Department, the dogs will be trained in a fun way, so when it comes to actually sniffing for bombs it will be like a game. Officer Roussell chose the names the student’s selected from, and said they picked his No. 1 choice.

“I used to be part of the Morrow posy in Goodhue County, and that was my Uncle’s posy horse. it was kind of the best horse we ever had. And it passed away and my uncle recently passed away and it was kind of for him,” said Roussell.

The other pup came along in support for his pal Sarge, but still does not have a name yet. There’s still some time to vote for his name, just click here to vote. The winning name will be revealed September 18.