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Arlington man jailed for kidnapping and attempted murder

Fayette County Deputies deployed stop sticks to disable Maxwell Liebe’s pickup Friday afternoon. Liebe attempted to turn onto Kornhill Road with a flat tire, lost control and rolled his truck in the ditch. He was taken into custody and his victim was found safe in the truck.

WADENA — An Arlington man is charged with multiple felonies after allegedly kidnapping a woman he knew from Wadena and attempting kill deputies who were trying to put an end to a high-speed chase Friday afternoon on Fayette County Road W45.

Maxwell Richard Liebe, 20, made his initial appearance Monday in Fayette County District Court on three counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary, possession of a firearm as a felon and eluding a pursuing law enforcement vehicle.

Magistrate Larry Wood set Liebe’s bond at $5 million, cash only.

His next court appearance, a preliminary hearing and bond hearing, is scheduled for 1:45 p.m., Jan. 21, at the Oelwein Police Department.

Public Defenders Andrew Thalacker and Kimberly Lange were appointed to represent Liebe, who wrote in his application for court-appointed counsel that he has been working full-time for a flooring company for $18 an hour.

According to a news release from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and criminal complaints filed Saturday, Jan. 11, this is what occurred Friday:

When Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a missing person report received at 12:15 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10, they found evidence of a possible kidnapping at the woman’s Wadena apartment. Later they found her vehicle in a field outside of town with the doors open and signs of a struggle.

Liebe had used a pry bar to break into the woman’s apartment through a window and waited for her to get home. When she did, he would not let her leave. Hours later, Liebe knocked her unconscious, bound her with plastic zip ties, dragged her into her vehicle and drove to a secluded area where he had his Ford pickup parked. He put her is his vehicle and drove off.

Authorities used a location ping from the woman and Liebe’s cell phones to direct what had become a multi-agency search to just north of Aurora.

A Buchanan County Sheriff’s deputy spotted Liebe’s pickup, which fled northbound on County Road W45. Fayette County Deputies joined the pursuit at Highway 3.

He was chased by six to eight “fully marked patrol vehicles with lights and sirens going” on County Road G for several miles at speeds over 80 mph, a complaint says.

Liebe allegedly attempted to run a chief deputy’s pursuing vehicle off the road during the chase and tried to run over two deputies in Fairfield Township who were deploying “stop sticks,” which are designed to quickly deflate tires. The deputies jumped out of the way.

Liebe’s pickup rolled into a ditch after stop sticks caused a flat tire near the intersection of W45 and Kornhill Road.

Deputies arrested Liebe and found the woman inside the pickup bound with zip ties but safe. She was transported to Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital in West Union to be checked for injuries.

After his arrest, deputies found that Liebe was in possession of a 20-gauge shotgun, which he was not allowed to have because of a 2018 felony conviction in Buchanan County for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the pursuit by Buchanan and Clayton County Sheriff’s offices, the Iowa State Patrol, Oelwein, Fayette and Strawberry Point Police departments and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Also assisting at the scene was Fayette Ambulance and Fire Department.