This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).






State of Minnesota,





Patrick Thomas Maykoski,



Filed ­­­November 22, 2005


Dietzen, Judge


Ramsey County District Court

File No. K4-03-1635


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and


Susan Gaertner, Ramsey County Attorney, Darrell C. Hill, Assistant County Attorney, 50 West Kellogg Boulevard, Suite 315, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for respondent)


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Suzanne M. Senecal-Hill, Assistant State Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge; Toussaint, Chief Judge; and Dietzen, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N




            Appellant challenges his conviction of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, arguing that the evidence is insufficient to convict him of the crime.  Because we conclude that the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the jury’s verdict, is sufficient for the jury to convict appellant of fleeing a police officer, we affirm.



On the evening of March 22, 2003, St. Paul Police Officers Brian Hall and Michael Meyer were involved in a traffic stop.  While the officers were outside of Hall’s squad car, Officer Meyer heard a loud white Chevy Blazer approach with “monster truck type tires on it with a real aggressive tread” traveling about 30 miles per hour.  Officer Hall, who stands about six-feet four-inches tall, saw the driver as he passed by ten feet away at about eye level.  Officer Hall identified the driver as appellant Patrick Thomas Maykoski, whom the officer knew by face and name from 10-20 prior encounters.  Officer Hall testified at trial that he was 100% sure that the driver was appellant, but he did not include this fact in his supplemental police report because he “did not know that the identification was ever going to be an issue.”  Officer Meyer was unable to identify the driver because of a glare cause by the headlights. 

When the truck traveled past him, Officer Meyer noticed a white light emitting from the truck’s taillight, which constitutes an equipment violation.  Officer Meyer followed the truck as it turned onto another street, pulled up behind it, switched on his emergency lights, and flashed his spotlight in the truck’s rearview mirror.  Officer Meyer could not identify the driver but did observe that he was a white male wearing a white t-shirt.  The truck did not stop and a chase ensued through the streets of St. Paul.  Officer Meyer used his radio to alert other officers.  Officer Hall soon joined the chase.

During the chase, the truck went off the road near a pond; and Officer Meyer positioned his squad car so the truck would have no exit.  Officer Meyer shined his spotlight onto the driver’s window of the truck from 40 or 50 feet away.  Based on this observation, Officer Meyer testified that he was able to see the driver’s profile for 5-10 seconds and was 95-99% certain that the driver of the truck was appellant.  Officer Meyer, like his partner, recognized appellant from 10-20 prior contacts in the community.  Officer Meyer did not include this identification in his police report. 

            Next, the truck drove onto a driveway shared between two houses at a speed of 10-15 miles per hour.  When both homeowners came outside to observe what was occurring, the truck sped between the houses and nearly hit both of them.  One homeowner pushed the other out of the truck’s way, and in the process of avoiding the truck, fractured his ankle.  The homeowner who was pushed aside testified to seeing the driver in the truck.  This homeowner looked through the truck’s front windshield and side window from a couple feet away and testified that the driver was a black male with braided hair.

As the truck exited the street, the injured homeowner observed the truck drive over the hood of another car parked about 60 feet away.  The injured homeowner testified that he was positive it was a black man driving the truck.  He also testified the driver had short hair but that he “wasn’t paying too much attention to it because everything was going so fast.”

            The truck continued along the front yards of several houses at a speed of about 10-15 miles per hour.  Officer Meyer drove parallel to the truck on the street with a spotlight shining on the interior of the truck.  Officer Meyer testified that he was able to observe the driver for approximately 8-12 seconds, including 1-2 seconds in which the driver looked directly at him.  Officer Meyer again identified appellant as the driver.  Based on this observation, Officer Meyer testified that he was 100% sure appellant was driving the truck.  Then the truck hit a chain-linked fence, and the driver exited the vehicle and ran away.  Despite setting up a perimeter, the driver was not apprehended.  In all, the chase lasted roughly 5-10 minutes and covered about 5 miles. 

Appellant was later charged with fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.487, subd. 3 (2002).  At the omnibus hearing, appellant moved to suppress evidence of his flight, arguing that the police did not have a reasonable articulable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop.  Appellant also moved to suppress testimony of an officer’s observations of appellant in a private residence after the chase had ended, arguing that the officer’s actions constituted an impermissible warrantless search.  The district court denied appellant’s motion to suppress evidence of his flight but granted his motion to suppress the officer’s subsequent observations of appellant in a private residence.  Following a jury trial, appellant was found guilty of the crime charged.  The district court sentenced appellant to the presumptive 19-month term.  This appeal follows.



On appeal, appellant raises one issue.  Appellant argues that the evidence is insufficient for the jury to have concluded that the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he fled from the police.  On a claim of insufficiency of the evidence, this court’s review is limited to a painstaking analysis of the record to determine whether the evidence, when viewed in the light most favorable to the conviction, is sufficient to allow the jury to reach its verdict.  State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989).  On appeal, we must assume that the jury believed the state’s witnesses and disbelieved any contrary evidence.  State v. Moore, 438 N.W.2d 101, 108 (Minn. 1989).  The jury determines the credibility of witnesses and weight of their testimony.  State v. Travica, 398 N.W.2d 666, 670 (Minn. App. 1987).  We will not disturb the verdict if the jury, acting with due regard to the presumption of innocence and the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, could reasonably conclude that the defendant was guilty of the charged offense.  State v. Alton, 432 N.W.2d 754, 756 (Minn. 1988). 

            Here, the crux of the case was the sufficiency of the evidence regarding the identity of the driver.  To convict a defendant of fleeing a police officer, the state is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the “defendant, by means of a motor vehicle, fled or attempted to flee a peace officer.”  10A Minnesota Practice, CRIMJIG 24.17 (1999); see also Minn. Stat. § 609.487, subd. 3 (2002).  The state has the burden of establishing the identity of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt.  State v. Armstrong, 311 Minn. 541, 543, 249 N.W.2d 176, 178 (1976).  Under some circumstances, the identification of one eye witness may be enough to meet the state's burden.  State v. Burch, 284 Minn. 300, 313, 170 N.W.2d 543, 552 (1969).  If, however, the identification is made “after only fleeting or limited observation, corroboration is required if the conviction is to be sustained.”  State v. Walker, 310 N.W.2d 89, 90 (Minn. 1981) (citing State v. Spann, 287 N.W.2d 406, 407–08 (Minn. 1979)).

Appellant argues that grave doubt exists as to whether he was driving the vehicle.  Appellant points to the time of night and the speed and commotion involved with the chase.  But the jury had the opportunity to consider each of these arguments.  Here, there is evidence in the record that the officers witnessed the driver on multiple occasions and at varying speeds.  Further, the record shows that the officers collectively had dozens of previous contacts with appellant and were therefore capable of recognizing him.  Thus, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the conviction, the officers multiple observations were sufficient to allow the jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant was the driver of the vehicle. 

Appellant next argues that the contradictory eyewitness testimony provides sufficient grounds to overturn the jury’s verdict.  But conflicting testimony between the two officers and two neighbors is not a sufficient basis for overturning the jury’s verdict.  Moore, 438 N.W.2d at 108.  It is the province of the jury—not this court—to make credibility determinations and decide who to believe.  Travica, 398 N.W.2d at 670.  Both officers provided corroborative testimony that the fleeing driver was appellant.  Walker, 310 N.W.2d at 90.  Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the conviction, the record supports the jury’s conclusion that appellant was the driver of the fleeing vehicle.