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Wild front end loader ride results in arrest, several charges

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS - MPD officers search the skid loader near the Tallcorn building on East Main Street.

A local man faces multiple charges after he failed to stop a front end loader he was operating erratically downtown.

On Thursday, John Lee StClair, 56, was charged with three criminal counts stemming from the incident: Interference with Official Acts, Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle and Possession of Controlled Substance Marijuana-Third Offense, according to documents filed in Marshall County District Court.

Capt. Brian Batterson of the MPD said StClair initially drove the end loader past the police department, 22 N. Center, at 8:30 a.m. While doing so, he began waving his arms up and down and looking around all directions, according to officers who witnessed the behavior.

Officers then followed him eastbound on East Main Street, while he continued to act erratically.

The defendant stopped the front end loader at First Avenue and Main Street and opened the door. A police officer told him to turn off the front end loader and later to exit the vehicle, but StClair did not comply.

While talking to the officer StClair attempted to shut the door and began driving northbound on North First Avenue. The defendant was tased by the officer, but continued driving.

The defendant was followed by several marked police cars using their emergency lights and sirens, but StClair did not pull over.

StClair eventually stopped at Second Avenue and Main Street where he was arrested. During a search a small amount of marijuana was found on him. The defendant was then transported to the UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown Emergency Department for a medical problem.

Later, he was transported to Marshall County JaiL. He was released on bail.