Man Stole Pickup, Shot At Owner Before Police Chase, Police Say

By Christy Aumer, Reporter

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By Richard Pratt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A Cedar Rapids man faces several charges after police said he stole a pickup and then shot at the owner of the vehicle.

Paul D. Hoff, 33, of 7100 Mount Vernon Rd. SE, was one of three people arrested Friday afternoon after a short police chase that ended when the stolen pickup crashed into a tree in an alley in southwest Cedar Rapids. No one was injured in the incident.

According to a criminal complaint, Hoff was driving the white pickup around 3:30 p.m. Friday when the owner, Joseph McDaniel, spotted it near the intersection of Johnson Avenue and Edgewood Road NW. The Ford F-150 had been stolen from McDaniel's residence in Hiawatha on Nov. 21. Authorities said McDaniel pulled up alongside the pickup, and Hoff responded by firing at least one gunshot at the vehicle McDaniel was in.

McDaniel called police, and officers located the pickup about a mile away, near the corner of Williams Boulevard and 16th Avenue SW. Hoff was still behind the wheel, but he would not pull over. The pickup knocked down a small tree, traveled through a yard at 1248 19th Ave. SW and crashed into another small tree in the alley between 18th and 19th avenues. Officials said the occupants bailed from the truck and led police on a short foot chase, but all three were soon caught.

A neighbor who declined to be identified said she went outside when she heard tires squealing nearby, because her kids were getting off the school bus soon. The neighbor said she saw an officer draw her gun and shout "freeze," at a man running away from police, and then saw another officer take the man to the ground and handcuff him.

"They were wrestling for a couple of minutes," the neighbor said.

Authorities recovered a .380-caliber handgun and a sawed-off shotgun from the pickup, according to court documents.

Hoff has been charged with first-degree theft, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon, reckless driving, interference with official acts and driving with a suspended license.

The others who were in the pickup, identified as Holly L. Levelle, 37, and Jeremy L. McAtee, 34, both of Palo, also were arrested for running from police. Levelle also had a warrant out for her arrest for a probation violation, police said.

Hoff and Levelle remained in custody Tuesday at the Linn County Jail. Hoff's bond has been set at $50,000.

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