Deputies stop high-speed chase Sunday morning
Washington County Sheriff’s deputies used a spike strip to stop a high-speed chase at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday that began in Johnson County and led Johnson County deputies on a 30-mile chase at speeds that reportedly exceeded 100 mph.
Nancy Ruth Kuntz, 44, of Coralville, has been charged in Johnson County with felony counts of assault with a weapon on police officers, interference with official acts and eluding authorities. Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar said Washington County charges are pending the outcome of an investigation and decision from the county attorney’s office.
“I think this was the first high-speed chase of the year,” Dunbar said. “We don’t get too many of these – fortunately.”
He said during the chase, which led south on Highway 218 from Johnson County, and along G36 to end at Highway 1, Kuntz allegedly swerved at a Washington County deputy. He said that Kuntz had allegedly attempted to strike other officers with her vehicle during the initial contact with Coralville Police officers and a subsequent chase with Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies.
According to reports, Kuntz had entered her vehicle at her Coralville residence and left the scene, nearly hitting two police officers who had responded to calls of a disturbance. A Johnson County deputy later found the vehicle on Highway 218 near Highway 1. She allegedly cut in front of the patrol car and slammed on the brakes. After being pulled over, the report said she told officers she had been mixing Nyquil with prescription medication. The report said deputies had broken out the side window of her vehicle to remove her, but she drove off.
Dunbar said two Washington County deputies joined the chase after Kuntz entered the county. He said that one of the officers had said Kuntz allegedly swerved at the patrol car. Deputies involved in the chase said that Kuntz had tried to run patrol cars off the road several times.
As the chase moved along G36 toward Highway 1, a spoke strip was deployed at Highways 1 and 92. Dunbar said sheriff’s deputies and two Washington police officers had responded to the report. He said the two front tires of the vehicle blew out, but that still didn’t get the vehicle to stop.
“The vehicle kept going on the rims,” Dunbar said.
He said the chase came to an end at the North Junction. Dunbar said that no damage was done of any of the Washington County vehicles and no accident occurred as a result.
“That is something that I worry about during high-speed chases,” Dunbar said.
According to Iowa Courts Online, Kuntz has been arrested for various charges before, including one incident of assault on a police officer in July 2009.
Dunbar said high-speed chases are dangerous and it is up to deputies’ discretion whether to pursue a fleeing vehicle.
“If we know the subject we may not pursue them,” he said. “We will just issue a warrant and get them later. People for some reason think if they can get away from us they won’t be charged.”