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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Statement of Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren regarding vehicle pursuit on April 8, 2013:

On April 8, 2013, at 8:31 p.m. the Muscatine County Joint Communications Center received a 911 call reporting that a vehicle was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 61 in the southbound lanes of travel. The vehicle was reportedly traveling in excess of 80 miles per hour.

A Muscatine Police Department officer and a Muscatine County Sheriff’s deputy located the vehicle at approximately the same time in the 1600 block of south Grandview Avenue. The officer and the deputy attempted to stop the vehicle in this location. The vehicle stopped but then fled from the location of this traffic stop.

The pursuit continued to the 600 block of Mississippi Drive where the vehicle pulled over for a second time. When law enforcement officers attempted to make contact with the driver the vehicle pulled away abruptly. The deputy then fired one shot from his service weapon at a tire on the vehicle. The vehicle fled on Mississippi Drive and then turned northbound on Iowa Avenue. The pursuit then proceeded to Fulliam Avenue at a high rate of speed. The vehicle fled westbound on Fulliam Avenue until the intersection at Duncan Drive.

At this location the deputy struck the pursuit vehicle in a maneuver intended to end the pursuit. The vehicle driver pulled the vehicle away from the squad car. The deputy then fired his service weapon a second time at the vehicle to disable the vehicle.

The driver of the pursuit vehicle continued across a field adjacent to the intersection of Duncan Drive and Fulliam Avenue. The pursuit then went across the field toward the parking area of a County of Muscatine building at 3210 Harmony Lane. The deputy’s squad car struck the pursuit vehicle again and pinned the pursuit vehicle against a fence post. This brought the pursuit to a conclusion.

The operator of the pursuit vehicle was ELIZABETH ANNA DIETENBERGER, DOB: 11/26/1981, of Iowa City. She has been charged with Eluding a Pursuing Law Enforcement Vehicle, an aggravated misdemeanor, and numerous traffic violations. She has been taken into custody and will make an appearance before a judge on April 10, 2013.

"I have reviewed the materials connected with the investigation of this pursuit and the use of deadly force by the deputy," said Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren. "I am satisfied that the force used here was appropriate and lawful. The law enforcement personnel acted bravely to bring a highly dangerous situation to an end without any injuries to the public, themselves, or the suspect," he added.

Due to the pending charges against DIETENBERGER the squad videos will not be released.