Formal charges filed in chase incident

Published 10:06 am Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Formal charges have been filed against two suspects apprehended following a chase in Austin on Saturday.

Robert E. Collins, 41, of Austin and Cassandra Sims, 32, of Waterloo, Iowa, both face fifth-degree drug possession. Collins also faces charges of failing to register the vehicle, as a predatory offender and fleeing a police officer, all felonies.  A fourth charge, a misdemeanor, is for driving after revocation.


Email newsletter signup

According to court records, a Mower County deputy was driving north of Eighth Street Northeast in Austin when he spotted a 2001 Pontiac Aztec, which was known to belong to Collins. The deputy saw that a female was driving the car and an adult male was in the passenger seat. While the deputy was pulling around, the Pontiac parked in a driveway on Eighth Street Northeast and the occupants, later identified as Sims and Collins, parked and left the vehicle, and walked into a nearby home. The deputy decided to watch the couple. He knew Collins had outstanding warrants and also had an arrest warrant in Freeborn County.

A while later, the pair returned to the car, this time switching seats. As the car started moving toward the deputy’s location, the deputy turned on his lights to pull the vehicle over. The car then turned west into the alley in the 400 block of 10th Street Northeast. The car did not pull over.

According to the report, the Pontiac “made at least a dozen rapid turns onto city streets, alleys and several residential yards before it came to a stop in an alley south” of the 700 block of 10th Street Northeast.

Speeds during the pursuit reached 60 mph on streets and 40 mph in alleys. After the Pontiac stopped, Collins allegedly fled on foot; in a yard on the 1000 block of Seventh Avenue Northeast, he stopped and surrendered.

It was learned that another adult male was in the back seat of the vehicle, but he has not yet been charged with any violation.

Collins later said his passenger threw drugs out of the window; Sims reported that Collins told her to throw it out. Sims allegedly said that both she and Collins were each using the meth from the same bag. The bag was later recovered by authorities and found it contained .80 gram of methamphetamine.

Collins remains in the Mower County Jail.