Police: Iowa City man rams SUV into Scheels entrance

Joseph A. Moreno faces several charges in connection with the incident

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CORALVILLE – Authorities say an Iowa City man faces  several charges after he drove a vehicle through the front doors of a sporting goods store Saturday morning.

Police responded around 2:30 a.m. to an alarm at Scheels All Sports in Coral Ridge Mall. Upon arrival, they said they found a 2002 Ford Explorer had been driven through the glass front entrance doors.

Coralville Police Chief Barry Bedford said authorities had every entrance and exit of Coral Ridge Mall covered. “We were confident if somebody was in there, they were still in there,” Bedford said.

Officers said they heard what may have been a gunshot, which led them to believe the person inside could be armed.

The Coralville Police Emergency Response Team later entered the building and found Joseph A. Moreno, 23, of 200 Lafayette St. #201, Iowa City,  inside the store. Moreno was taken into custody at 8:45 a.m.

Bedford said it took authorities several hours to safely locate and take Moreno into custody, but would not comment on the process.

“He did not willingly give himself up,” Bedford said.

A pistol that authorities said they believe belongs to Moreno was also recovered at Scheels. Moreno suffered a cut as a result of the incident, but before  contact with police, authorities said. No one else was injured.

“Everybody came out of it alive,” Bedford said. “That’s the best solution we can hope for in something like this.”

Moreno faces charges of first-degree burglary, reckless use of a firearm with property damage, carrying a concealed weapon and operating while intoxicated. He was taken to the Johnson County Jail on $42,000 bond.

More than a dozen law enforcement agencies and specialized units responded to Coral Ridge Mall and assisted Coralville officers on scene with securing the premises and providing backup.

The investigation is continuing and additional charges may follow.

An employee of Scheels said the store would be closed for the rest of the day Saturday,  and to call Sunday to confirm hours. Coral Ridge Mall was open at 10 a.m., its normal opening time, according to a mall Public Safety Officer.

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