Police Control ‘Chaos’ Created by Wanted Felon Fleeing from Officers Near Fairgrounds

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DES MOINES, Iowa – An hour-long chase near the Iowa State Fairgrounds ended Monday morning with a wanted man being tased and taken into custody.

The pursuit began around 8:55 a.m. at E. Grand and E. 15th, according to Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department. Police received a tip that Gregory Wright Jr., who has several outstanding felony warrants, was at the Quik Trip.

When officers moved in to take Wright into custody, he used his SUV to ram two police squad cars and took off. He headed east toward the fairgrounds and police initially called off the pursuit because of fears of escalating the situation in a crowded area.

At one point during the chase, Wright even drove on the railroad tracks in an effort to get away from officers.

“When we get into these chases the community’s safety is the number one priority. As he got closer to the fairground sand got into these residential neighborhoods, we called it off,” said Sgt. Parizek.

Police continued to monitor the situation but didn’t actively pursue Wright, who had a scanner in his SUV and was listening to police radio traffic.

As Wright worked his way through neighborhoods around the fairgrounds, the chase picked back up and as he was trying to get away he crashed through a yard, did a U-turn and hit another police vehicle near E. 28th and E. Grand Ave. Wright tried to flee on foot and police used a taser to subdue him.

“We did an excellent job of controlling the chaos he created,” said Sgt. Parizek.

One officer suffered a minor injury, a cut on the arm while jumping over a fence, during the foot chase.

A realistic-looking pellet gun and a long knife were found in Wright’s vehicle.

Wright, who had a lengthy criminal record, had warrants for burglary and theft charges. He has previously been arrested on domestic abuse charges in 2015. In 2017, he was also taken into custody following a raid at a Pleasant Hill home where officials found stolen construction equipment.

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