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Warrant issued for man charged with eluding, OWI

By Bob Steenson,

An Iowa City man who allegedly led Floyd County deputies and other law officers on a high speed chase while intoxicated in February, had a warrant issued for his arrest after not showing up at a hearing where he had been expected to plead guilty.

Wayne Cage Watson, age 55, of Iowa City, was charged with eluding or attempting to allude while intoxicated, a Class D felony; operating while intoxicated (second offense), an aggravated misdemeanor; and driving while license revoked, a serious misdemeanor.

Warrant issued for man charged with eluding, OWI
Wayne Cage Watson

Watson had previously been convicted of OWI three times, for offenses in 2018 in Cedar County, 2007 in Johnson County and in 2003 in Johnson County.

He was charged with second offense OWI in the latest Floyd County incident because only offenses during the previous 12 years are considered.

He was also cited for traffic violations of excessive speed, open container and driving on the wrong side of a divided highway.

Watson initially pleaded not guilty and a trial date was set in Floyd County District Court. But in June, court records indicate, he had agreed to file a written plea of guilty, and a plea hearing had been set for July 23.

On July 23, when Watson did not appear for the hearing, District Court Judge Peter Newell issued a statewide warrant for Watson’s arrest.

On Aug. 1, Newell issued an order revoking Watson’s pre-trial release and again issuing the arrest warrant.

The Floyd County Sheriff’s Office reported that deputies attempted to stop Watson’s vehicle for speeding in the 2600 block of Highway 14 a little before 7 p.m. on Feb. 1.

“The suspect eluded deputies at speeds in excess of 100 mph before entering a ditch in the 2100 block of 210th Street,” the report said.