State Patrol: Dad led officers on 3-county high-speed chase with 3-year-old in the vehicle


POLK COUNTY, Iowa — A toddler is safe after a high-speed chase spanning three counties ended in the Des Moines metro early Monday.

Braden Johnson, 34 of Garner, is being held in the Hamilton County Jail in connection with the chase. He’s charged with eluding, child endangerment, weapons charges, reckless driving, and unlawful possession of a prescription drug.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office says the incident began when a 911 call was placed by Johnson around 12:30 a.m., reporting he was being followed and feared for his safety.

His vehicle was located by deputies on southbound I-35. The deputies tried to get Johnson to pull over but he refused. Officials say Johnson and his three-year-old child were already the subjects of an attempt to locate and welfare check and information they received said Johnson may also be armed.

Johnson continued driving southbound, into Story County where deputies from the Story County Sheriff’s Office attempted to use stop sticks at the 102-mile marker. The attempt was unsuccessful and Johnson kept driving south, into Polk County.

The Iowa State Patrol tells WHO 13 that at some points the chase reached over 100 miles-per-hour.

The vehicle was stopped at 2nd Ave. in Polk County, near the interstate, and Johnson was taken into custody without incident. The child was not injured.

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