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Van full of teens crashes in Fort Dodge

15-year-old sent to juvenile court after two-county pursuit

A 15-year-old has been referred to juvenile court after driving away from police in a van full of other teenagers before crashing the vehicle into a tree in Fort Dodge early Wednesday, according to officials.

No injuries were reported.

The pursuit began on East Second Street in Webster City.

The Webster City Police Department had received a report of a window being broken at a residence earlier that night, according to Webster City Police Chief Shiloh Mork.

A short time later, an officer with the Webster City Police Department stopped a minivan matching the description given to police.

The driver of the vehicle stopped initially. But when the officer got out of his patrol vehicle, the driver took off, Mork reported.

The pursuit continued east into Fort Dodge on Fifth Avenue South at about 2:15 a.m., according to Capt. Ryan Gruenberg, of the Fort Dodge Police Department.

The driver kept going north on 32nd Street before side-swiping a parked car near the 3100 block of 11th Avenue North by the Rosedale Rapids Aquatic Center, Gruenberg reported.

According to Mork, the vehicle came to a stop when it struck a tree on 11th Avenue North.

The driver then left the vehicle and was pursued by officers on foot.

The juvenile was apprehended a short time after that, according to Gruenberg.

Gruenberg said there were four people in the vehicle at the time — each believed to be 15 years old.

Those juveniles stayed in the van, Gruenberg said.

The 15-year-old driver was taken back to Webster City.

He was referred to Juvenile Court Services for the following delinquent acts: eluding, operation without owner’s consent, interference with official acts, fourth-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and no valid driver’s license.

The other teenagers were taken back home to their parents, all of which live in Fort Dodge, according to Gruenberg.

The identities of the juveniles are not being released due to their age.

“It’s pretty scary that 15-year-olds are brazen enough to get in a pursuit with law enforcement, putting the community at risk,” Gruenberg said.

Gruenberg said luckily no one suffered injuries as a result of those actions.

The Webster City Police Department, Fort Dodge Police Department, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, and Webster County Sheriff’s Department, were involved in the case.

Anyone who sustained damage overnight is asked to contact the Webster City Police Department at 515-832-9166.