Chase near Dayton ends with suspect in custody

DAYTON — One man was in custody after leading the Dayton police chief on a pursuit that ended near the Belleville Bridge Tuesday night, according to Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs.

Based on initial information provided to him, Stubbs said no injuries or vehicle damage was reported.

The sheriff said the man, whose name was not released, was taken to UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center in Fort Dodge for a mental health evaluation.

He added that he believes the man will be transferred to the Webster County Jail and will make a first appearance in Magistrate Court this morning. Potential charges against him could include eluding and traffic violations, he added.

Because the incident was still under investigation late Tuesday night, Stubbs said he could not comment on reports that the man tried to ram a Dayton police vehicle or that shots were fired during the incident.

”I haven’t got all the facts yet,” he said ”I don’t know the story on all that and I’d hate to comment on it.”

Dayton police initiated the pursuit, he said.

”We were responding, and I think the pursuit was concluded before any deputies arrived,” Stubbs said.

The suspect apparently led Dayton Police Chief Nick Dunbar through the city of Dayton and through at least one resident’s yard.

Messenger reporter Hans Madsen spotted tire tracks in the front yard of his home near Skillet Avenue and Third Street.

“There’s tracks in my yard,” Madsen said Tuesday night. “There’s some rubber marks on the sidewalk and they look like big truck tires.”

Preliminary, unofficial accounts did indicate the suspect drove a truck at high speeds near Skillet Avenue.

The vehicle chase started on Iowa Highway 175 near Dayton at about 5:51 p.m.

It continued through Dayton, proceeded northeast and ended near the Belleville Bridge, which spans the Des Moines River north of Stratford. The bridge is on the border of Webster and Hamilton counties and carries county road D54 over the river.

Dunbar said he could not comment on the incident Tuesday night as the Webster County Sheriff’s Department took over the investigation.