Bemidji man facing new charges after crashing into two buildings, leading pursuit

A 25-year-old Bemidji man is facing numerous charges  after crashing into one building, leading a pursuit, then crashing into another building.

The Bemidji Police Department says they received a call around 3 p.m. Tuesday from someone reporting they were having a mental health crisis. Officers responded to the Sanford Walk-in Clinic and spoke with Damian Smith.

Mid-conversation, Smith backed a black Dodge Caravan into the clinic’s doors, then fled. A pursuit up to 50 miles an hour ultimately led to the Paul Bunyan Mall. At the entrance of the parking lot, Smith reportedly crashed into a 2019 SUV, then into the main entrance doors of the mall.

Smith was transported to Sanford for a mental health evaluation before he was booked into the Beltrami County Jail.

Damian Smith, 25. Photo from the Beltrami County Jail Inmate Roster.

Smith has a set of previous charges from a May 2021 series of incidents involving several hit-and-run crashes in addition to ineligible firearms possession and DWI, and a prior conviction for first-degree arson in 2018.

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