16 October 2022
UPDATE (October 2022): All eight charges against Anthony Randklev have been dropped. Randklev was found incompetent to stand trial in October 2019 and prosecutors failed to file an intent to prosecute notice before the deadline of Oct. 1, 2022.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A northern Minnesota man and convicted sex offender is now charged in a weekend crime spree in which he is accused of abducting a woman at gunpoint from her Fergus Falls home, raping her and leading police on a high-speed chase that ended in gunfire.
Anthony Randklev, 39, of Pelican Rapids, is charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct, as well as counts of kidnapping, burglary, illegal possession of a firearm, false imprisonment, and fleeing police, court documents filed in Otter Tail County show. His first court appearance was Tuesday morning, where a judge set his bail at $5 million.
According to a criminal complaint, Randklev’s crime spree Sunday was like something out of a horror movie.
It began just before 2 p.m. when he allegedly entered a rural Fergus Falls home through a basement window, wearing a camouflage mask and armed with a shotgun.
He encountered three of the family’s children, all under the age of 10, asking them where he could find their mother, identified by officials as 34-year-old Amber Simonson.
She was in her bedroom, napping with her young son.
According to the complaint, she woke up to Randklev threatening to kill her family if she didn’t go with him.
Randklev dragged Simonson out of the home’s sliding glass door as she kicked and screamed. To subdue the mother of four, Randklev bound her hands and put a cover over her head.
Immediately after the abduction, the children found their mother’s cellphone and called their father, who then called police.
After leaving the home, Randklev drove north in his Chevy pickup, bringing Simonson to an abandoned farmstead on County Highway 24, just southwest of Maplewood State Park.
Inside, Randklev told Simonson he “had to do this” because people in his life had wronged him. He said his son was killed and he “needed to keep his bloodline going” by having sex with her.
When Simonson told him she didn’t want to, he picked up the shotgun, told her to take off her clothes and raped her, the complaint states.
As Randklev left the abandoned farmstead, someone spotted his truck, thought it was suspicious and called 911. The truck was then seen at a gas station in Pelican Rapids.
Responding officers found Randklev on southbound Highway 59, and he led them on a high-speed chase, at times reaching speeds higher than 90 mph.
Police rammed the back of his truck in pit maneuvers, attempting to make Randklev lose control and drive off road.
The chase took officers from multiple agencies through the town of Erhard before spike sticks forced Randklev to drive into a wheat field, where he was handcuffed.
At some point during the chase, officers fired shots at Randklev, the complaint states.
Emergency crews brought Simonson to a hospital, where she was reunited with family. Doctors said she suffered cuts and bruises on her arms, neck and hands during the sexual assault.
Simonson’s husband told police that Randklev was at the family’s home the night before the abduction, asking for gas to get back to Fergus Falls. The husband suspected that Randklev was staking out the home overnight, waiting for him to leave his wife and children at home.
According to the complaint, Randklev was convicted of a similar kidnapping and assault in 2008. He also has previous convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm and failing to register as a predatory offender.
If convicted of any of the sexual assault charges, Randklev faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
His next court appearances is slated for Oct. 31.
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Author: CBS Minnesota