Man arrested after chase

A motorcyclist was arrested Wednesday after leading police on a high speed chase through three counties.

William Lee Brown, 55, of Ottumwa, was charged with eluding, an aggravated misdemeanor, punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $6,250.

According to a news release from the Jefferson County Attorney, Fairfield Police Department officers attempted to stop Brown on his motorcycle at 10:28 a.m. Wednesday for a minor traffic offense, which Lt. Collin Smith said was driving without a license.

Brown refused to stop, and led officers on a high-speed chase, beginning in Fairfield and heading south on Highway 1. The chase exceeded speeds of 100 miles per hour in places. Four Fairfield officers were joined by one Jefferson County Sheriff?s deputy and at least two Iowa State Patrol officers.

Brown exited Highway 1 and headed west on Highway 16 toward Salem. He made it to Eldon, but ran out of gas on Old Highway 98.

?Chases end in a wreck a lot of times, so we were very lucky in this case that the person ran out of gas,? Smith said.

Smith said officers can use spike strips to puncture car tires, though they don?t use them on motorcycles because it endangers the driver.

?The speed we go on a chase depends on the traffic,? he said. ?We?d rather give up than risk getting someone hurt. Here, we started at 10:30 a.m., so there was not much traffic, and he stayed on hard surface roads that were fairly straight. That allowed us to keep up.?

Smith added, ?We try to do everything we can to make the public safe. In this case, spike strips are not an option, so we just have to follow him until he gives up.?

A criminal charge is merely an accusation. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.