Cedar Rapids men charged after police pursuit

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 21, 2012 6:30 AM

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Two Cedar Rapids men face charges following a traffic stop near the North Liberty exit on I-380.

According to a series of complaints by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Patrick James Jr., 18, and Bernard Butler II, 21, were traveling in a vehicle on I-380 near the three-mile marker. The complaints said they were traveling 80 mph in a 70 mph zone. An officer activated his emergency lights and tried to pull them over, the complaints said, but the vehicle continued traveling down the road and took the North Liberty exit.

The complaints said once the vehicle exited the interstate, it continued onto Penn Street, where it continued to travel in excess of the posted speed limit, reaching speeds of 70 mph in a 35 mph zone. The complaints said the vehicle pulled over at the intersection of Penn Street and Jones Boulevard, where the officer made contact with James, the driver of the vehicle. Upon stopping, Butler allegedly opened the rear driver’s-side door of the vehicle and ran from the scene on foot.

When asked why he didn’t stop, James allegedly said he was scared, then later said he hadn’t seen the officer, according to the complaints. James allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana in the vehicle. He was arrested for OWI.

The complaints said that Butler was apprehended and brought back to the patrol car after a short foot chase. The complaint said the officer, accompanied by K9 officers from the Coralville police department, retraced the path of the chase. About 15 feet from where Butler was arrested, police found a large bag containing 35 smaller bags of marijuana totaling 52 grams, according to the complaint. Butler also allegedly had $480 in his pocket.

James is charged with eluding, a Class-D felony.

Butler is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and failure to affix a tax stamp to a taxable substance, both Class-D felonies.

— by Matt Starns

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