An hour-long, high speed chase took place early Wednesday morning, ending when the wanted suspect crashed into a parked vehicle.
James Choate, 37, homeless, was seen driving a stolen Mercury Mountaineer from McCallsburg near a residence on 10th Street in Nevada at approximately 3:46 a.m., according to a press release from the Story County Sheriff’s Office. The Ames Police Department had a warrant out for Choate’s arrest after he allegedly stole a 1986 Chevrolet K30 pickup truck in Nevada and led police on a chase in east Ames Wednesday, April 24. Choate drove the truck through a cornfield near Freel Drive before crashing it into the Skunk River and fleeing on foot.
Wednesday morning’s chase was initiated when a sheriff’s deputy attempted to pull Choate over in Nevada, said Nevada Public Safety Director Jeff Theulen. Multiple officers from both the sheriff’s office and Iowa State Patrol were involved in the chase, which allegedly reached speeds of up to 110 mph, traveling east of Nevada before coming back into town.
Choate crashed the Mountaineer into a parked vehicle in an alley in the 700 block of Sixth Street, said Capt. Barry Thomas of the Sheriff’s Office. Choate attempted to escape on foot, but a Story County Deputy deployed a Taser®, which incapacitated Choate until he was taken into custody not far from the scene of the accident.
Theulen said a retaining wall was damaged during the chase, as well as tire tracks through a yard near J Avenue. Thomas said an Iowa State Patrol unit was also damaged during the chase.
The Story County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the successful apprehension of Choate by the Nevada Police Department, the Ames Police Department and the Iowa State Patrol.
For the events that took place early Wednesday morning, the Story County Sheriff’s Office has charged James Choate with Eluding (Class D Felony), Driving While Barred (Aggravated Misdemeanor), Theft 2nd (Class D Felony), Interference with Official Acts (Simple Misdemeanor), Reckless Driving (Simple Misdemeanor) and other traffic violations. Further charges may be forthcoming from the Nevada Police Department and the Iowa State Patrol for damage caused by Choate during the pursuit.
For the April 24 chase, Choate is charged with second-degree theft, driving while barred, eluding, reckless driving and interference with official acts, according to an article in the Ames Tribune.
According to police, there was a passenger with Choate on April 24 who ran out of the truck prior to Choate driving through the cornfield. Police have not publicly identified that person.
Choate is currently being held in the Story County Jail on $28,400 bond.