Sheriff’s Office: Ottumwa Man Rear-Ended Deputy’s Vehicle, Attempted to Flee


An Ottumwa man was arrested on Monday after authorities say he rear-ended a law enforcement vehicle and started a brief pursuit after leaving the scene.

35-year-old Robert Eaton has been charged with eluding (Class D felony), operating while intoxicated (serious misdemeanor), and interference with official acts (simple misdemeanor).

According to court records, at approximately 7:37 PM, Eaton rammed a maroon Buick into the back of a vehicle driven by a deputy of the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office. The incident occurred at the intersection of Highway 149 and Fourth Street.

After authorities say Eaton struck the deputy’s vehicle, he allegedly put his Buick in reverse, squealed his tires, and fled the scene through an alley north of the accident location. Court documents say the deputy turned on his emergency lights and sirens but Eaton did not stop his vehicle.

Eaton allegedly ran a stop sign and went the wrong way down an alley behind the Wapello County Courthouse with speeds around 50 mph. He stopped his vehicle in the alley behind Market Street and attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended by the deputy.

A search of Eaton’s vehicle revealed an open container of alcohol.

Once at the Wapello County Jail, authorities conducted a field sobriety test on Eaton which he failed. Court records also mention a breath test that was administered to Eaton which found his alcohol level above the legal limit.

Eaton is currently free after posting a $6,000 bond. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for October 11th.

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