Des Moines man crashes truck, staggers off in De Soto

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Samuel Mathias Canfield, 23, of Des Moines was arrested late Monday on charges of failure to maintain control and first-offense public intoxication.


A Des Moines man was arrested late Monday night in De Soto after allegedly putting his truck in the ditch and then wandering off after buying a few single-shots of whiskey at a nearby convenience store.

Samuel Mathias Canfield, 23, of 1039 Mason Ave., Des Moines, was charged with failure to maintain control and first-offense public intoxication after allegedly striking a curb then fleeing from the scene.

The incident began shortly before 11 p.m. when law enforcement officers were searching the area around the intersection of Guthrie and Ash streets in De Soto, where a motor vehicle collision was reported.

According to court records, officers observed a male “walking in the parking lot behind the Kum and Go convenience store,” and he appeared to “stagger and make unsteady steps as he walked.”

According to witnesses, Canfield “lost control of his vehicle and put it in the ditch adjacent to the parking lot of the Kum and Go gas station.” After unsuccessfully attempting “multiple times to drive the vehicle out of the ditch,” Canfield “exited the truck, entered the gas station, bought three small single-serving bottles of alcohol and exited the store.”

The officers made contact with Canfield and detected “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, and his eyes observed to be bloodshot and watery,” according to court records.

He initially refused to identify himself but was eventually identified by his Iowa driver’s license and also identified as the registered owner of the truck in the ditch.

Canfield was taken into custody and searched, and officers found one opened and empty single-serving bottle of Jim Beam whiskey in his pocket. Canfield “became loudly belligerent and disorderly” prior to his transport to the Dallas County Jail, according to court records.

No injuries were reported in the incident. Damage to Canfield’s vehicle was estimated at $2,000, and damage to the Kum and Go property was estimated at $5,000.

Canfield is held in the Dallas County Jail prior to his initial appearance in Dallas County District Court.

Canfield currently faces charges of homicide by vehicle-reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident-death in Polk County District Court in connection with a July 27, 2019, incident in Des Moines in which he drove his pickup truck in front of a motorcycle that struck the truck and killed the motorcyclist.

Canfield was convicted of driving while barred in 2016 in Polk County District Court.

*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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