116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
An Illinois man faces a series of charges, including eluding police and drunken-driving, after police allege he crashed his car onto the lawn of the University of Iowa President’s Residence early Saturday after a short, high-speed chase.
Ira J. Wright IV, 18, of Vernon Hills, Illinois, was taken into custody around 1:30 a.m.
A video a passerby took of the incident shows two Iowa City police SUVs turning onto Church Street from Dubuque Street, cruiser lights flashing and sirens blaring, at 1:26 a.m. As the officers get out of the car, one can be heard shouting:
“Get on the ground! Get on the ground now!” Down! Down! Down“ as they ran up to a man walking on the sidewalk.
“I have no weapon,” the man says several times, with his arms raised at his sides, before officers grab his hands and get him down to the ground and cuff his hands behind his back.
Nearby, a Mercedes-Benz sedan with Illinois plates had come to rest on the lawn of 102 E. Church St., where it appears to have taken out a wrought-iron railing on a set of stairs going up the front walk.
Wright faces charges of eluding police, a Class D felony; drunken driving, reckless driving, public intoxication, using a fake ID, and failure to obey traffic laws. The criminal complaint states police attempted to pull Wright over on Clinton Street, but Wright “continued northbound on Clinton Street at a high rate of speed, ran multiple traffic lights and went in the other lane of traffic.”
Police officers reported he had bloodshot and watery eyes, impaired speech and smelled of ingested alcohol. He refused a blood alcohol test, but was wearing a bar wristband and admitted to using a false ID to gain entry into the bar, the complaint states.
The crashed car “had multiple open containers of beer in it,” the complaint states. “The defendant had a Wisconsin ID in the back of his phone case.”
The President’s Residence, built in 1909, is a 12,000-square-foot brick home built on a bluff overlooking the Iowa River. In addition to serving as the home for President Barbara Wilson, who started her position in July, the house is used for university events. Wilson was home at the time of the crash, the UI confirmed.
Comments: (319) 339-3157; email@example.com