Ames police officer who allegedly led Iowa State Patrol on high-speed chase fired from department
An Ames police officer who allegedly drove while intoxicated on the wrong side of a highway at high speeds in March has been fired, a department spokesperson said Thursday.
Jason Eaton's "employment was terminated for violating department policy" June 17, Cmdr. Jason Tuttle said via email.
"We cannot provide further details as it is a personnel matter," Tuttle said.
Eaton was placed on administrative leave following his arrest March 29, pending the outcome of an internal investigation, Tuttle said previously.
Eaton, 40, will plead guilty to the March charges at a hearing July 9, according to court documents. Eaton faces the felony charge of eluding a law enforcement vehicle and the misdemeanor charge of operating while intoxicated.
Eaton's defense attorney, Mark Olberding, declined to comment on the case Thursday.
At about 10 p.m. March 29, a Nevada police officer notified Story County Dispatch of a vehicle driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of Highway 30 around 19th Street in Nevada, the complaint says. The Nevada police officer said the driver, Eaton, also failed to yield.
A nearby Iowa State Patrol officer was eastbound on Highway 30, with emergency lights activated between 580th Avenue and 590th Avenue, when Eaton drove past the officer still driving on the wrong side of the highway, the criminal complaint states. The state patrol officer then checked Eaton's speed, which was listed as 126 mph in a 65 mph zone.
The state patrol officer then turned around to follow Eaton, activated a siren, and a chase ensued, the criminal complaint details. Eaton allegedly turned north on 580th Avenue, then westbound on frontage road before driving through a field and re-entering Highway 30.
Eaton proceeded north on I-35 at speeds up to 131 mph in a 70 mph zone, the criminal complaint states, and allegedly exited at 190th Street and ran a stop sign at the end of the ramp. Eaton then stopped on 190th Street, east of 570th Avenue, and exited his vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.
The Iowa State Patrol officer claims to have smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Eaton's breath. Eaton allegedly admitted to drinking 1-2 beers that evening, according to the criminal complaint.
The state patrol officer discovered multiple open and unopened alcohol containers inside Eaton's vehicle, according to the complaint. Eaton allegedly refused field sobriety tests. Police were granted a search warrant to obtain a blood sample from Eaton, which was sent to the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations for analysis.
Des Moines Register reporter Andrea May Sahouri contributed to this report.