Steve Duffy talks about driving after a car that sped through his neighborhood, tearing up a portion of his lawn and striking other vehicles across from his home Sunday morning.
KEVIN E. SCHMIDT, KSCHMIDT@QCTIMES.COM
Vigilante justice? Former racer chases vehicle that drove through his Davenport yard
A former Davenport racer took to the streets again Sunday morning — this time, in pursuit of a driver who sped through his lawn and crashed into two cars in the neighborhood.
Here’s what happened, according to Steve Duffy, 70, of Davenport, who was involved in go-kart races in Grand Mound, Iowa, for many years:
Duffy lives in the 2600 block of Ripley Street near Hayes Street. He heard a commotion about 10:30 or 11 a.m. Sunday.
A stolen vehicle was traveling westbound on Hayes Street, coming from Harrison Street, he said. “I didn’t see it approaching but the other neighbors did — it was traveling at a high rate of speed.”
The vehicle tried to turn left on Ripley Street, possibly ran through a stop sign, “went into my yard, lost control and hit a parked car on Ripley Street,” said Duffy, who eventually spoke with police officers and witnesses.
“The driver tried to back up to get away and backed into another parked car, then fled. I saw all that impact out my living room window.”
Duffy is a self-described man of action. “My instinct is to run outside and get in my car and chase him.”
Duffy had two options: His little red Smart Car or his Ford Edge SUV, which is the one he chose.
“I chased (a silver or gray Chevrolet Equinox) south on Gaines Street through the neighborhood there on 15th Street and Warren Street, then another car got in my way,” Duffy said. “I had to go around it. I chased him south on Warren Street down to about 12th Street.”
The driver headed west toward Marquette Street and was about two blocks ahead of Duffy in a silver or gray Chevrolet Equinox, then Duffy lost the vehicle.
Duffy said when returned to the scene police officers were there, and he stopped and told them about his pursuit.
A license plate — possibly from the Equinox — was ripped off the car and left at the scene, Duffy said.
He said during the chase, he reached 45-50 mph. The other driver was going a lot faster than that, but Duffy didn’t want to go that fast. “He was flying, going 60 mph-plus,” Duffy said.
He suspects the driver, whom he couldn’t see, might have been young. “I couldn’t see (the driver) over the headrest,” Duffy said.
Afterward, Duffy talked to police at the scene. An officer told him such a pursuit isn’t recommended, he said.
“That’s just my nature, to get involved,” Duffy said.
Davenport police said the vehicle was found abandoned later. As of Monday, no arrest has been made in connection with the incident.