Public Safety

Kalona man accused of breaking into downtown Iowa City bar

Man had three prior drunken driving arrests, according to police

IOWA CITY — An Kalona man is accused of breaking into a downtown bar and stealing multiple items, including bottles of liquor.

According to Iowa City police criminal complaints, around 11 p.m. Wednesday, an officer was flagged down near the intersection of Dubuque and Burlington streets and told there were people inside Martini’s, 127 E. College St., stealing TVs. The officer responded to a red Ford Explorer pointed out by the witness that was parked behind Martini’s and later parked behind The Mill.

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Authorities said 26-year-old Joseph P. Halstead was driving the vehicle. Numerous items were observed in the Explorer, including alcohol bottles, Red Bull cans and two cash register monitors, police said. The stolen items were valued at more than $1,000. Police said Halstead broke glass to get into Martini’s, which was closed at the time of the break in.

Police said Halstead smelled strongly of alcohol and showed signs of intoxication, including having to steady himself on a vehicle to keep from falling over. Halstead — who had three prior drunken driving arrests, according to police — refused breath and field sobriety tests, police said.

Halstead was arrested and faces charges of first-degree criminal mischief, a Class C felony; third-degree burglary, a Class D felony; second-degree theft, a Class D felony; drunken driving — third or subsequent offense, a Class D felony; and driving while barred as a habitual offender, an aggravated misdemeanor. If convicted on all of the charges, Halstead faces up to 27 years in prison.

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