Judge denies Waterloo man's guilty plea in Hiawatha high-speed chase

Pleading guilty requires admitting to the crime

A judge Tuesday denied a Waterloo man's guilty plea for ramming three police cars in August during a high-speed chase in Hiawatha, because the man wouldn't admit to the crime.

Bobby Wolf, 31, of 2902 E. Schrock Road, was set to plead guilty Tuesday to first-degree criminal mischief, attempt to elude and second-degree theft, all felonies, stemming from the chase in Hiawatha Aug. 25. But when the judge asked him if he intentionally rammed into the three police cars, he said "I don't remember much of what happened that day...but I was trying to get away."

"I'm going to stop right here," Sixth Judicial District Senior Judge Thomas Koehler said. "We are done."

Tim Schemmel, Wolf's attorney, tried to explain that Wolf was intoxicated that day, but Koehler said the hearing was over, and that Wolf could come back another day if he wanted to try again.

First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks said in pleading guilty, a defendant must admit to the factual basis of the crime, which in this case, would be admitting to causing the damages to the police cars.

As part of the plea agreement, Wolf also faces four misdemeanor charges -- one count of operating while intoxicated and three counts of assault on a peace officer causing injury. He had planned to plead guilty in writing to those infractions.

Maybanks said the plea agreement is still on the table if Wolf wants to plead guilty to the charges.

According to the criminal complaint, Wolf , driving a stolen pickup belonging to Andersons Inc. in Waterloo, rammed the three police vehicles at Miller Road and Blairsferry Crossing in Hiawatha, after eluding police when they tried to stop him on Boyson Road.

Hiawatha Chief Dennis Marks said the damaged vehicles put a strain on the department's vehicle fleet. One vehicle was a total loss at $15,082 and the other vehicle damage totaled $6,172. Police equipment also had to be replaced in both vehicles. The vehicle that could be repaired is back in service but the new car is not on the streets yet because equipment still needs to be installed.

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