UPDATE: Indianolan faces drunk-driving, eluding charges

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Robert James Hugen, 45, of Indianola was arrested Wednesday on charges of first-offense OWI, eluding and driving while barred.


The Indianola man who was arrested late Wednesday in Dawson after a high-speed pursuit from Perry has been charged with first-offense OWI, eluding, reckless driving, driving while suspended and driving while barred.

The incident began about 10:45 p.m. Thursday in the 900 block of Willis Avenue, where an officer of the Perry Police Department observed Robert James Hugen, 45, of 15130 88th Lane, Indianola, making an erratic turn in a vehicle with no license plates, according to public safety radio traffic.

The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but Hugen sped away westbound on Willis Avenue, turning southbound on I Court and then westbound on Iowa Highway 141, according to radio traffic.

With the officer in hot pursuit, Hugen’s 2017 Volkswagen Passat reached speed of 115 mph on the state highway, according to court records. Hugen turned northward on D Avenue and entered Dawson on S. First Street, traveling at 84 mph in a 25 mph zone, according to radio traffic.

Hugen eventually stopped the vehicle near the intersection of W. Railroad Avenue and E. Third Street in Dawson and “attempted to flee on foot,” according to court records. He was promptly detained.

The arresting officer allegedly “detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” on and about the person of Hugen, who “exhibited slurred speech and had an inability to maintain balance,” according to court records.

Hugen admitted “that he was messed up,” and he refused to take a preliminary breath test or a DataMaster breath test, according to court records.

A female passenger in Hugen’s vehicle was also taken into custody.

Hugen was also served with a Polk County warrant for larceny-habitual offender and probation violation. He is held in the Dallas County Jail on an $8,000 cash or surety bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Sept. 7 in Dallas County District Court.

Hugen was arrested June 25 in Waukee on charges of first-offense OWI, driving while barred and interference with official acts. The case is pending in Dallas County District Court. He was convicted in Polk County District Court in 2017 of robbing a Wells Fargo Bank in Des Moines on Dec. 22, 2016.

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

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