Maplewood man who threatened police with ‘explosive device’ arrested

Dennis Vann

At 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 20, Maplewood police, with the help of regional law enforcement backup, arrested a Maplewood man for threatening police with an alleged “explosive device.”

Earlier, around 5 p.m., Dennis Vann, 42, was driving an RV near the intersection of White Bear and Gervais avenues, according to a Maplewood police statement, when he was flagged down by Maplewood police who believed he had an outstanding arrest warrant. 

Instead of pulling over, Vann fled. Police did not pursue but bumped into him a short time later in the 3000 block of White Bear Avenue, near the Maplewood Mall.

Police, attempting to make contact with Vann, were met with threats, said the police statement. Concerned Vann had “deadly weapons,” police backed off and secured the area to ensure the safety of nearby shoppers, employees and passersby. The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office SWAT came to help. 

During the standoff, Vann alleged he had an “improvised explosive devices” in the RV, said the police statement, prompting the arrival of the St. Paul Police Bomb Squad. 

Maplewood police say Vann refused to cooperate and remained “erratic.”

“After all options for cooperation were exhausted, in irritating gas was introduced into the RV,” said police statement, “which ultimately led to Vann’s surrender.”

Vann was taken to Regions Hospital for a medical evaluation and then booked at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center for fleeing police in a motor vehicle and threats of violence.

Maplewood police say the incident is still under investigation.


—Solomon Gustavo

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