Officers of the Fairfield Police Department (FPD) were involved with a vehicle pursuit on 03/01/2014 at approximately 6:55 AM. FPD Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle believed to be driven by a subject with a felony Escape warrant from a “halfway house” probation facility in Iowa. The subject had walked away from this facility a few months prior and several law enforcement agencies were assisting to locate him.
The subject refused to stop for the FPD Officer and led to a two county vehicle pursuit through Fairfield, Jefferson County, Wapello County, and into Ottumwa. The pursuit became too dangerous in Ottumwa and pursuing Officers, Deputies, and Troopers backed off from the vehicle. Contact was lost with the vehicle and several law enforcement agencies began to check the area of Ottumwa and Wapello County. FPD Officers were able to make phone contact with the subject by cell phone. After a half–hour negotiation the subject stopped his vehicle and surrendered to law enforcement in Agency, Iowa.
There were numerous agencies that assisted in the investigation and apprehension. They include the Fairfield Police Department, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, the Iowa Department of Corrections – Probation / Parole Office, the Iowa State Patrol, the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office, the Davis County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ottumwa Police Department.
The subject was placed under arrest in Agency and transported back to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility (Jail) by FPD Officers. The subject has been identified as James Pleas Surber, Jr. and his date of birth is 12/27/1990. He was charged with the original State warrant for Escape. Additionally, he was charges with Eluding Law Enforcement by Vehicle - (Aggravated) and Driving While Barred by FPD Officers. There may be additional charges but it is unknown at this time.
The Fairfield Police Department confirms a criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.