Marion man issued 49 citations after high-speed chase

40-minute chase spanned three Cedar Rapids quadrants

Anthony Hobel
Anthony Hobel

Police chased a Marion man for 40 minutes Sunday night as he zig-zagged through Cedar Rapids at high speeds and racked up dozens of traffic violations.

Anthony J. Hobel, 29, finally surrendered around 10:35 p.m. in a subdivision off Echo Hill Road just north of Marion, police said. According to Sgt. Cristy Hamblin, he was issued 49 citations and faces more than $5,700 in fines. No one was hurt.

The chase began around 9:55 p.m. when Hobel sped off from the parking lot of the Green Gable Inn, 1227 J Ave. NE, after officers asked to search his pickup. Police were at the bar to check out rumored illegal activity, and a K-9 unit dog hit on Hobel's vehicle while he was still inside.

Hobel went west on J Avenue and turned north on Wenig Road NE, before turning again to go behind Kennedy High School. He cut back to 42nd Street NE and took Edgewood Road to get to Blairs Ferry Road NE, police said.

Hobel was eastbound on Blairs Ferry when police deployed stop sticks, but Hobel drove around them and took the southbound on-ramp for Interstate 380.

Police were in pursuit as Hobel exited at Seventh Street, jogged over to Second Avenue and turned to go west. Police said he was going 61 mph in 25 mph work zone as he went over the Second Avenue bridge.

Hobel got all the way to Kingston Stadium, where he went off-road across a soccer field before jumping back onto Eighth Avenue SW. From there, he turned onto Third Street SW to get back onto I-380.

Police said Hobel went north on the interstate and took the H Avenue exit, where he went east on 16th Street through the Mound View neighborhood. He took B Avenue up to 20th Street NE, and went west on First Avenue before a quick jaunt through Wellington Heights.

From there, Hobel got back onto First Avenue and headed for Lindale Mall, where he cut through the parking lot to get to Northland Drive NE. He turned west on Blairs Ferry Road and then went north on C Avenue out of Cedar Rapids.

The move that got him caught came next, when he turned east on Echo Hill Road and passed Alburnett Road. With the only escape behind him, police said Hobel turned into a subdivision on Smithland Drive, jumped out of his pickup onto the ground and surrendered.

"I think he only missed the northwest quadrant," Hamblin said.

MAP of chase route (story continues below map)

During the chase, one patrol car was tailing Hobel's vehicle, while another officer was close behind, updating the twists and turns over the police radio, Hamblin said. A commander in a third patrol car was also in pursuit, and other commanders were listening and evaluating whether to end the chase, she said.

Many factors, including the time of day, the normal road conditions and the relatively light traffic levels, were considered in the decisions to continue the pursuit, Hamblin said.

"This was a textbook way of doing a chase," Hamblin said. "At that time of night, Sunday night, traffic is so light."

Hamblin said police decided not to use the PIT maneuver or a roadblock.

"If it's warranted, we'll do whatever we can," Hamblin said. "This was a traffic and drugs situation."Police found a small amount of marijuana on the driver's side floorboard of Hobel's pickup. In all, police said he ran 36 stop signs or stop lights and was cited nine times for speeding. In addition to those violations, he faces charges of reckless driving, attempting to elude and no insurance. He was taken to the Linn County Jail.

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