Don Johnson loves Jake’s Pizza, orders it for delivery regularly, and not once has he complained about his pie not arriving on time.
So when the pizza guy arrived at his house Friday night and said this medium House Special would be on the house, Johnson was a bit confused.
“I didn’t think it was late,” he said. “When we called, they said it was going to be an hour, so we didn’t really pay attention. The guy said it took longer than we expected, so it was going to be free. We thought it was very nice.”
What Johnson didn’t know was his first pizza had become evidence and the original delivery guy was on his way to jail. That driver is accused of attempting to ditch a sheriff’s deputy, who was chasing him for speeding on Highway 22, apparently in an effort to get Johnson’s pie delivered while it was still piping hot.
The deputy said he was traveling north on the highway when he saw a car coming toward him, weaving through traffic. The driver, later identified as 27-year-old Ryan Patrick Sorensen of Mankato, showed no signs of slowing as he passed the brown squad car at about 75 mph, the deputy reported.
Even after the deputy turned on his lights and sirens, the car continued to speed, eventually turning right on Victory Drive and into the Southhaven mobile home park. There were a few more evasive high-speed turns in the park as the chase continued past several pedestrians, including children, at an estimated 50 mph. The deputy suspected the driver was looking for a place to stop so he could escape on foot.
When Sorensen did stop, he didn’t run. He told the deputy he was trying to make a delivery and he was looking for the correct address. Another deputy arrived a short time later and pointed out that the two pizzas in Sorensen’s car didn’t include any delivery tickets for the Southhaven neighborhood.
That deputy “then advised him that he should be truthful,” according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. “(Sorensen) said he saw the deputy turning around and knew he was speeding, so he turned into Southaven to try to ‘ditch’” him.”
Both deputies also learned Sorensen had been stopped earlier in the month by a Mankato police officer. That officer also reported Sorensen was delivering pizzas at the time.
Sorensen was jailed for the holiday weekend and appeared in court Tuesday for a felony charge of fleeing police in a motor vehicle and a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving. He was released on his own recognizance after the hearing.
Delivery drivers at Jake’s are told safety should be their first priority because the business doesn’t guarantee a delivery time, said co-owner Andrew Boyer-Kern.
That’s fine by Johnson. He and his wife order the House Special, which comes loaded with eight toppings, because it’s tasty, not because the delivery is fast.
“Jake’s has the best pizza in town as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “No need to hurry.”