Chase ends with car on the lawn of the President of the University of Iowa

Illinois man faces charges including escaping from police after a short, high-speed chase from downtown Iowa City, records show

Chase ends with car on the lawn of the President of the University of Iowa
Chase ends with car on the lawn of the President of the University of Iowa

Police review evidence surrounding a crashed car on the lawn of the Presidential residence of the University of Iowa in the early hours of Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (submitted photo)

An Illinois man faces multiple charges, including drunken driving and police alleging he drove his car into the University of Iowa presidential residence after a short, high-speed chase early Saturday. Crashed in the lawn.

Ira J., 18, of Vernon Hills, Illinois. Wright IV was detained around 1:30

A passerby took video of the incident showing two Iowa City Police SUVs turning from Dubuque Street to Church Street, cruiser lights flashing and sirens sounding, at 1:26 p.m. as officers exit the car. One can be heard shouting:

“Get on the ground! Get on the ground now!” Down! Down! down” as he ran to a man walking on the sidewalk.

“I don’t have any weapons,” the man says several times, raising his arms to his sides, before officers grab hold of him and drop him to the ground and clasp his hands behind his back.

Nearby, a Mercedes-Benz sedan with Illinois plates came to rest on the lawn of 102 E. Church St., where an iron railing appears to have been removed on a set of stairs leading to the front.

Wright is accused of dodging the police, which is a Class D felony; Drunk driving, reckless driving, public intoxication, using fake ID and failure to follow traffic rules. The criminal complaint states that police attempted to pull Wright over Clinton Street, but Wright “continued to speed north on Clinton Street, hit several traffic lights, and into the other lane of traffic.”

Ira J Wright

Police officials said he had bloodshot and watery eyes, impaired speech and the smell of drinking alcohol. The complaint states that he refused a blood alcohol test, but was wearing a bar wristband and admitted to using a false ID to gain entry into the bar.

The crashed car contained “several open containers of beer,” the complaint said. “The defendant had a Wisconsin ID on the back of his phone case.”

The Presidential Residence, built in 1909, is a 12,000-square-foot brick house built on a bluff overlooking the Iowa River. In addition to serving as the home for President Barbara Wilson, who began her term in July, the house is used for university events. Wilson was at home at the time of the accident, the UI confirmed.

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