Iowa City Man Leads Police On 20-Minute Chase That Reaches 90 MPH

By Lee Hermiston, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Police said an Iowa City man led police on a 20-minute chase, reaching speeds of 90 mph.

According to Johnson County Sheriff's Office reports, 26-year-old Derek M. Dawson was behind the wheel of a 2010 Dodge Caravan at 4:54 p.m. Sunday.

Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said a deputy attempted to pull over Dawson for failing to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of South Riverside Drive and Rupert Road. Dawson didn't pull over right away and the pursuit started off at low speeds, Pulkrabek said.

"As it continued on, then the driver started driving more aggressive and recklessly," Pulkrabek said.

Police said Dawson fled from multiple county and Iowa City police squad cars for 20 minutes and reached speeds of 90 mph. Dawson "displayed exceptionally poor driving skills and decisions," made a number of traffic infractions and put many people in harm's way during the pursuit, police said.

Pulkrabek said the deputy opted to continue the pursuit out of concerns the Dawson was operating under the influence or could hurt someone with his driving.

Police said Dawson tried to hit a parked Iowa City police squad car at the intersection of Highway 6 and Scott Boulevard in Iowa City. He avoided stop sticks deployed by police until one finally took out a tire, Pulkrabek said.

When Dawson finally came to a stop at the intersection of Whispering Meadow Drive and Whispering Prairie Avenue in Iowa City, he refused to get out of the vehicle. Pulkrabek said officers had to break out the windows of the Caravan and forcibly removed Dawson.

Dawson was driving under multiple suspensions, police said. His license is both revoked and barred, police said.

After searching his vehicle, police said they found a small amount of marijuana in a baggie in the driver's side door.

Dawson faces charges of eluding, assault on police officers with a weapon, driving while revoked, driving while barred - habitual offender, possession of a controlled substance - third or subsequent offense and interference with official acts.
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