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Sheriff: Pursuit That Ended in Playhouse Crash Justified

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LINN COUNTY, Iowa — Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner says a pursuit that ended in crash in a Solon backyard Wednesday night was justified.

“It looked like a clean pursuit,” Gardner said. “It was clear why [the deputy] was chasing this person.”

The chase started in Ely after a Linn County deputy saw a truck matching the description of a vehicle Cedar Rapids police had been briefly searching for. The truck is believed to have been involved in a shots fired case at 5565 C St. SW a short time before being spotted by the deputy.

The driver, along with four others, fled from the deputy, which resulted in a six minute chase ending in Solon. Gardner said at times the chase reached speeds of over 100 mph. All five people in the truck were eventually caught after fleeing on foot, all five face charges.

“If the pursuit is endangering the public more than the offense or threat, we’ll call things off,” said Gardner. Because the truck was believed to have been involved in a shooting, it was in the best interest of both the public and law enforcement to apprehend the suspects, Gardner said.

Several families had been outside when the fleeing truck drove into a backyard on E. Elm St. and crashed into a playhouse.

“It was really scary,” said Kirsten Wilson, 8, of Solon. “I’m a little scared, because what if that ever happened again.”

Gardner said he has reviewed the videotape of the pursuit and believes all protocols were followed. The deputy will still need to meet with a commander, however.

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