Ex-Iowa City Cab Driver Accused of Damaging Cab, Leading Police on Chase

By Vanessa Miller, Reporter

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By Kelli Sutterman

IOWA CITY, Iowa - An apparently disgruntled former employee of an Iowa City cab company has been arrested on suspicion of breaking into the business, trashing the office, and vandalizing the cab she drove – possibly urinating in it.

Nancy Ruth Kuntz, 44, of Coralville, resigned from her job at Five Stars Taxi, 1911 Keokuk St., on June 11 and is accused of returning later that day and breaking a window to the office area, according to a criminal complaint. She also broke a key off in a door handle, ripped phone cords off the wall, and pulled phone and electrical cables out of a box behind the building, according to the complaint.

Police said they found Kuntz’s cell phone on top of that electrical box. They also believe Kuntz vandalized the cab she used to drive by ripping the front off its taxi cab fare meter, putting some type of sticky substance on the seatbelts and “possibly urinating inside the cab,” police reported.

The estimated damage is valued at about $800, according to police.

Kuntz was arrested early Sunday after police first contacted her at 2:30 a.m. at the Iowa Lodge, 320 2nd St. in Coralville. While speaking with her, officers noticed alcohol on her breath. She agreed to a breath test, but while police were attempting to administer the test, Kuntz got into her vehicle and refused to get out, according to a criminal complaint.

She is accused of reversing at a high rate of speed, nearly hitting two officers, according to the complaint. The officers had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit, police reported.

About an hour later, at 3:30 a.m., Kuntz’s 2002 Ford Focus was stopped at the 92 mile marker on Highway 218 southbound for a traffic violation. When contacted by officers, Kuntz admitted to drinking Nyquil and taking prescription medication, according to a criminal complaint.

Kuntz refused to get out of her vehicle and rolled the window up, police reported. Officers broke out her window to try to get her out, but Kuntz’s vehicle was moving, making it unsafe, according to the complaint.

She then is accused of leading police on a high-speed chase through multiple jurisdictions – topping 100 mph at times. The chase ended nearly 30 miles later at the intersection of Highway 92 and Highway 1 in Washington County, according to police.

On more than one occasion during the chase, she tried to run a patrol car off the road, causing the officer to take evasive action, police reported.

Following her arrest, police determined Kuntz was likely under the influence of depressants and or alcohol.

Kuntz faces several charges including third-degree criminal mischief, operating while intoxicated, felony eluding, assault on peace officers with a weapon, and interference with official acts, both of which also are felonies.

She’s being held in the Johnson County Jail in lieu of a $23,500 bond.

Kuntz’s criminal history in Iowa includes another assault on peace officers conviction in Johnson County in 2011 and convictions for first- and second-degree harassment.
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