(Editor’s Note: The following article was submitted by the Becker Police Dept.)
On 09/27/2021 at approximately 11:15pm, an officer from the Becker Police Department observed a vehicle being driven by a subject wanted for questioning related to an ongoing investigation in the City of Becker. When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, he fled from the officer at a high rate of speed. The officer pursued the subject to the area of the Xcel Energy (Sherco) plant located at 13999 Industrial Blvd, Becker. The officer lost site of the vehicle which was later discovered fully engulfed in flames after crashing into a building at the Sherco site.
The suspect fled from the scene on foot but was later apprehended after an extensive search of the area. The subject was identified as Mariano Antonio Cocchiarella (21)of Big Lake.
He was transported to the St. Cloud hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Charges are pending which will include Fleeing Police in a Motor Vehicle, Trespassing and Damage to Property. Investigation is ongoing for this incident as well as others.
The Becker Police Department was assisted by the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, Big Lake Police Department, Elk River Police Department, Becker Fire Department, MN State Patrol Aviation Unit and Staff at Xcel Energy.