Des Moines Police Chase Ends with Suspect in 20-Foot Hole

Demolition site at 48th and Franklin in Des Moines where police say suspect was hiding in a 20-foot hole.

(Des Moines, IA) -- A Windsor Heights to Des Moines high speed police chase ended with the suspect found in a hole. Police say 36-year-old Mark Gearhart was spotted in a stolen SUV early Thursday morning. When officers tried to pull him over, they say Gearhart led them on a high-speed chase reaching more than 90 miles per hour in a 35 zone.

Police said Gearhart took off running after stopping at 50th Street and Franklin Avenue. Responding officers say they found the suspect in a hole, which was 20 feet deep

Des Moines Fire Department Lieutenant Rick Thomas tells WHO Radio News the hole was on a building demolition site at 48th and Franklin. He says they aren’t sure how the the suspect got into the hole, but was not reported injured from a fall.

The work site site is leveled off as of Friday, with no more holes in sight, as heavy equipment continues removing concrete and other materials.

Gearhart is in jail, charged with eluding, first-degree theft, interference with official acts, and other charges.

Photo by Wendy Wilde

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