We’re getting a look behind the scenes of an Iowa State Patrol pursuit that ended with a crash and gunfire. The Pottawattamie County Attorney says Trooper Tim Sieleman handled everything by the book in apprehending Michael Lee.
The chase began on the streets of Council Bluffs, near South 8th and West Broadway. Lee was driving a stolen pick-up truck. He refused to stop and the pursuit that followed reached a top speed of 100 miles-per-hour. It came to an end on Veterans Memorial Highway.
Along the way, Trooper Sieleman tried to disable the truck Lee was driving. That didn't work.
Dashcam video from Sieleman’s cruiser shows Sieleman getting out of his vehicle and shouting orders at Lee to stop. Lee ignored the orders and Sieleman fired his weapon 10 times. At least one of those shots hit Lee in the left arm.
The video evidence documents how dangerous the incident was for Sieleman and it’s why County Attorney Matt Wilber says Sieleman did nothing wrong.
Lee has a history of being violent with police and at the time of the incident he had an active warrant for his arrest. As the pursuit continued west on Veteran's Memorial Highway, two more Iowa State Patrol cars joined in.
In the recordings you can hear Sieleman say, “He tried to run me over. He tried to run me over."
After two more attempts to stop the fleeing truck proved fruitless, the fourth attempt forced the pick-up over the center median. It flipped on its side.
Wilber says charges against Sieleman are not warranted.
“I have to decide you know, is there criminal intent on the part of trooper Sieleman,”Wilber said. “And in my opinion, he was extremely professional, calm during the entire chase."
Once investigators were able to interview Lee, he admitted to using K-2 just before leading police on the chase.
While Trooper Sieleman has been cleared in the case, the incident has prompted some policy changes. The Iowa State Patrol has temporarily stop chasing suspects inside the Council Bluffs city limits.
Lee faces several charges including felony assault with a weapon on peace officer. He has entered a plea of not guilty and is scheduled for trial in March.