BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – A Fort Madison man, who had sent texts indicating he may want to engage in what is known as ‘suicide by cop’ by robbing a local bank and engaging police officers, was taken into custody Thursday night.
According to Fort Madison Police Chief Tim Sittig, police were looking for 30-year-old Adam Huss throughout the day Monday. Sittig said Huss had allegedly been engaging in criminal mischief, including breaking some windows.
But Sittig said a text they came across in the investigation sent police into a higher gear.
“We also learned that he had engaged in some texting and sent a message saying he wanted to end it all and he wanted to do it by holding up a bank and having police kill him,” Sittig said Monday night.
Sittig said they alerted banks and other area law enforcement and, while they were working on that investigation, Huss’s vehicle was spotted in town.
Lee County Sheriff’s deputies and Fort Madison Police engaged in a heightened search at about 4:25 p.m. and Huss’ vehicle was spotted by a deputy in an unmarked car at about 4:45.
The unmarked car didn’t attempt to pull over Huss, but when Fort Madison police caught up and tried to pull Huss over, he led law enforcement on a chase on the east side of Fort Madison and then quickly up 2nd Street with speeds quickly reaching 80 mph.
Sittig said the chase went up past the new prison and then turned right onto 180th Street westbound toward Sheaffer Memorial Golf Course. Sittig said snow drifts were making it hard for Huss to elude police officers and he eventually pulled into a farm drive and surrendered to police without incident. Three Lee County Sheriff’s deputies, Fort Madison Police, and the Iowa State Patrol all participated in the chase.
Huss is currently being held in the Lee County Jail. Sittig said he will be facing criminal mischief charges, several traffic violation charges, and other charges could be possible after the case is reviewed with the Lee County Attorney’s office.
Sittig said he was unsure if any charges would be filed regarding the threat on local banks because no one was specifically identified in the threats, but that would be for the Lee County Attorney’s office to decide based on the circumstances.
On March 20 of last year, Huss led authorities on a chase through parts of Fort Madison and then out into the county. Huss allegedly hit speeds of 75 mph in Fort Madison city limits in that incident and then 90 mph out on Hwy. 61 heading north where he was apprehended near Wever.