UIHC escapee charged in Johnson County

BY HAYLEY BRUCE | APRIL 01, 2011 7:20 AM

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Police have officially charged the inmate who allegedly escaped from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and led police on a 19-hour chase in December 2010.

Anthony Koehlhoeffer, 20, of Bettendorf was charged Dec. 16 with second-degree theft, second-degree robbery, third-degree kidnapping, and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident.

Koehlhoeffer was awaiting trial on numerous felony charges in Jefferson County when he was transported to UIHC for medical treatment and reportedly escaped around 11:30 p.m. Dec. 14.

According to police reports, Koehlhoeffer then approached a female UI student in the parking lot outside Rienow Residence Hall and forced her car door open. Koehlhoeffer then allegedly pulled her out of the car, struck her in the face at least three times, and left with her car, the report said.

Around 5:30 a.m. Dec. 15, police received a call that a car had been stolen from Hawkeye Convenience Store, 2875 Commerce Drive.

Police complaints said Koehlhoeffer entered a parked, unoccupied running vehicle and drove off. Officials said Koehlhoeffer stated he took it to leave town, because he was wanted for fleeing police custody.

Koehlhoeffer then struck another car in the parking lot, fled the scene, and wrecked the car a few blocks away, where he kidnapped a woman, the report said.

After Koehlhoeffer crashed, the complaint said a woman stopped to assist him, offering to give him a ride to the gas station down the street. When Koehlhoeffer got in the car, police said he told the woman to “drive, drive drive,” because police were after him.

The report said the woman tried to get the man out of her car at several gas stations, but he refused and said he needed to get to Davenport.

At one point, the woman told officials Koehlhoeffer grabbed the back of her neck. She said she felt Koehlhoeffer was going to hurt her if she did not comply. She also told police she thought she “was going to die” and identified the man from a photo line-up.

It is still unclear how Koehlhoeffer escaped from the UIHC, but the incident has prompted changes in the communication process between the hospital and Iowa counties regarding their policies for overseeing inmates being treated at the facility.

He was in the Johnson County Jail for a short time Thursday before he was transported to the Iowa Medical & Classification Center, where he’ll stay until his hearing.

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