Chase suspect charged with attempted murder

Anthony Spinharney

A chase suspect is now facing an attempted murder charge after he tried ramming Dayton Police Chief Nick Dunbar’s patrol vehicle while the officer was inside, according to the Webster County sheriff.

Dunbar fired his gun during the Tuesday evening incident, Sheriff Jim Stubbs said.

The suspect, identified as Anthony A. Spinharney, 37, of Omaha, Nebraska, is charged with attempted murder of a peace officer, felony eluding, and interference with official acts.

According to Stubbs, deputies were first alerted to Spinharney’s vehicle after a 2003 Ford F-250 was reported driving erratically and speeding on Iowa Highway 175 near Dayton.

Just minutes after the complaint was reported, Stubbs said Dunbar saw the same vehicle entering Dayton city limits and tried to pull it over. However, the driver kept going, and the chase began.

Stubbs said the pickup left Dayton and headed northeast of town where it went into a bean field near the intersection of 350th Street and Skillet Creek Avenue in rural Webster County.

Dunbar continued after the pickup.

“The driver then circled around and attempted to strike Chief Dunbar’s patrol vehicle on the driver’s door,” Stubbs said.

Dunbar shot his gun, hitting the pickup.

After the vehicle was hit, the pickup swerved away from Dunbar’s vehicle and fled the scene.

It eventually ended up in another field near 340th Street and Xavier Avenue on the very eastern border of Webster County, almost into Hamilton County. That location is near the Belleville Bridge.

Stubbs said Spinharney got out of the pickup and ran, but was taken into custody a short time later.

Spinharney was first taken to UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center in Fort Dodge for treatment before being transported to the Webster County Law Enforcement Center.

His initial appearance was held in Webster County Magistrate Court Wednesday morning.

Spinharney stayed silent during his hearing, though he appeared to nod his head a couple times.

“You should either contact your own attorney or fill out an application for counsel,” Magistrate William Thatcher told Spinharney, who did not respond to the judge’s comment.

Thatcher ordered Spinharney held on $30,000 cash-only bond.

A preliminary hearing has been set for May 3.