Two men were arrested following an almost four-hour standoff that ended with tear gas Thursday evening in Maquoketa.
Brothers Dorie Lee Thomas, 35, and Derrick Benard Thomas, 33, both of Savanna, Illinois, were arrested and taken to the Jackson County Detention Center just before midnight.
The incident began at about 8:06 p.m. Aug. 15 near the intersection of Otto and Platt streets in Maquoketa, according to Assistant Maquoketa Police Chief Brendan Zeimet.
“It started as a traffic stop, with a vehicle squealing its tires in front of officers,” Zeimet said Friday morning. After Maquoketa Police Officer Mike Owen pulled the vehicle over, the two men inside refused to identify themselves.
“They were defiant,” Zeimet said.
The two brothers requested that a sergeant come to the scene, according to charging documents. Sgt. Keenan Meinecke joined Owen and requested the brothers’ identification; again they refused, according to charging documents.
The vehicle sped off when Meinecke told both men they were under arrest for refusing to identify themselves, Owen wrote in the charging documents. A car chase ensued as the vehicle headed west on Platt Street, followed by police officers.
Zeimet said the Thomas vehicle collided with an unrelated vehicle at Creslane and Platt streets before driving into the Maquoketa Park Apartments complex at 1010 German St. on the northwest side of town.
Officers said they saw two men get out of the vehicle and run into 1010 German St. Apt. 2. The ground-floor apartment was unoccupied at the time, Zeimet said.
Officers tried to get in, but the men had barricaded themselves inside by blocking the front door.
“We couldn’t get entry, and they refused to come out,” the assistant chief said.
Law enforcement evacuated the other residents in the apartment building.
Zeimet said officers did not know if the two men were armed at the time of the standoff.
“We made multiple attempts to contact suspects,” Zeimet said. Officers identified the two men by using wallets they had left in the car. The 2012 Chrysler 200 was registered to Cynthia Jones, not to either Thomas brother; Dorie Thomas was driving the car without the owner’s consent, according to charging documents.
Law enforcement called their cell phones and a landline phone inside the apartment, “but they didn’t respond to calls. We tried to get them to surrender peacefully.”
Derrick Thomas called 911 dispatch at 11:35 p.m. During that almost five-minute conversation, he reportedly told the dispatcher that he was concerned the police were going to kill him, according to the dispatch log. But dispatch lost phone contact with him.
Officers were granted a search warrant for the apartment. Members of the Iowa State Patrol Tactical Team broke the apartment window and threw tear gas canisters inside. No weapons were found.
The tactic work, provoking a response from the suspects by establishing verbal contact, Zeimet said.
At 11:53 p.m., the Thomas brothers exited the apartment through an unbroken window because the door had been damaged when officers tried to gain entry earlier in the evening.
No one was seriously injured in the incident. Zeimet said a state trooper received a minor cut from a broken apartment window.
Dorie Thomas was charged with assault on a police officer (nearly hitting officers with the car when he drove off), operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent, interference with official acts, eluding, reckless driving, careless driving, and not having a valid driver’s license, according to charging documents.
Dorie Thomas requested and received a court-appointed attorney. He was released from jail on a $9,000 cash-only bond and must appear for a preliminary hearing at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Jackson County Courthouse.
Derrick Thomas, was charged with interference with official acts. He pleaded guilty to that charge and was fined $250 plus court costs and surcharges. He was given credit for one day served in jail.
The Maquoketa and Preston police departments, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa State Patrol and Jackson County Regional Health Center assisted at the scene.