An arrest warrant has been issued for a suspect who was allegedly driving a stolen vehicle when he fled from a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy and crashed into a power pole in Alexandria early Tuesday, Oct. 6.

The suspect, identified as Rafael Buenfil, 37, of Moorhead, was an inmate with the Otter Tail County Detention Center who did not return from a furlough and was considered to have escaped on Sept. 22 after he was released so he could attend his mother's funeral in Fergus Falls.

The incident in Alexandria began at 2:16 a.m., when the deputy tried to pull over a vehicle that was speeding on Third Avenue.

The driver, later identified Buenfil, continued eastbound on Third Avenue.

Because of the vehicle’s speed and the driver’s disregard for public safety, the deputy shut his emergency lights off to prevent a pursuit, according to the sheriff’s office.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Seconds later, the deputy saw sparks and a bright flash east of Nokomis Street and proceeded eastbound to investigate whether the vehicle had crashed. He found the vehicle had crashed near the intersection of Third Avenue and Quincy Street into a power pole.

The driver and a passenger fled. The passenger was caught a short distance from the vehicle.

After the vehicle crashed, deputies learned the vehicle was stolen out of Fergus Falls.

Deputies were able to identify Buenfil through their investigation, and a warrant was requested for his arrest.

Anyone with information about Buenfil's whereabouts is asked to contact the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office at 218-998-8555.