Public Safety

Early morning Iowa City chase ends with car in ditch

IOWA CITY — A car chase early Thursday morning ended when the suspect crashed into a ditch.

According to Iowa City police criminal complaints, around 1:53 a.m. Thursday, police witnessed a Toyota Camry turn onto Benton Street from Riverside Drive. The driver, later identified as 39-year-old Elder O. Rivera Fuentes then took off at a high rate of speed, police said.

Officers tried to stop Rivera Fuentes, who went west on Benton Street, south on Sunset Street, west on Highway 1 and south on Mormon Trek Boulevard. Police said Rivera Fuentes was going more than 25 mph over the speed limit.

Police said witnesses saw Rivera Fuentes crash into a ditch near a creek near the intersection of Riverside Drive and Mormon Trek Boulevard. He was found a short distance away wearing “soaking wet” clothes, police said.

Police said Rivera Fuentes — who is barred from driving until March 17 — showed signs of being intoxicated, but refused a breath test. He was arrested and faces charges of eluding, a Class D felony; driving while barred, an aggravated misdemeanor; drunken driving, a serious misdemeanor; and public intoxication, a simple misdemeanor.

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