Twenty-four-year-old Kelsey Beckett of Cedar Rapids pleaded guilty in January to escape, assault with a dangerous weapon, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Police say Beckett led them on a chase through Cedar Rapids and Hiawatha in November of 2016, driving though people’s yards and the parking lot of a daycare center. He hit a car and a skid loader that caused the car he was driving to catch fire, but he kept going.
Police say he wrecked the vehicle of a federal officer and tried to run over the officer three times. He then struck a police dog several times as the dog tried to stop him in a foot chase. Police say it was the first time a dog bit someone in its own defense.
Beckett had previously served time for possessing a firearm with the serial number wiped out, and court records show he had a long history of other charges. At the time he fled, Beckett was a fugitive from a residential reentry center, and he had two loaded, stolen firearms in his car. One of the firearms, a Glock .40 caliber pistol, was in plain view on the driver’s side floorboard of the car. It had an extended, 22-round Glock magazine that was full, including one round in the chamber.
Court documents show that Beckett beat up a female college student in 2009 for no apparent reason—attacking her from behind and kicking her while she lay on the ground screaming for help. Just weeks later, Beckett struck a shelter staff member in the head several times with his elbow and put her in a head lock.
In 2012, Beckett was convicted of assault causing bodily injury after he fought with loss prevention officers in the course of stealing items from a department store. Beckett also has a history of unlawfully possessing firearms. In 2013, Beckett was convicted in federal court for possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number. After Beckett was released from federal prison in 2015, he had his supervised release revoked twice, including for the November 2016 incident.
He was sentenced to 154 months in prison and ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution for the destroyed patrol car.