Public Safety

Police: Washington man reported car stolen, found it, drove it drunk

Joseph R.R. Fritz
Joseph R.R. Fritz

IOWA CITY — A Washington, Iowa, man was arrested on a drunken driving charge early Tuesday after initially reporting his car stolen.

Joseph R.R. Fritz, 23, called dispatchers at 4:36 a.m. Tuesday to report his white 2005 Buick LeSabre had been stolen, according to an Iowa City police criminal complaint.

Police found the vehicle a short distance from where Fritz said he left it. Fritz called the dispatchers back to report that he, too, had found his car, but was not going to drive it because he was too drunk.

However, police said about 20 minutes after that phone call, they saw Fritz in the area of Davenport and Lucas streets driving the vehicle.

Police said Fritz showed signs of intoxication and admitted to drinking. He also admitted to telling officers he was too drunk to drive, but said he now was fine, police said.

Police said Fritz showed “measurable impairment” on field sobriety tests. Breath tests showed his blood alcohol content was 0.171 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent to operate a vehicle in Iowa.

Fritz was arrested and faces one count of drunken driving — second offense, an aggravated misdemeanor. He was convicted of drunken driving in 2015, police said.

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