January 19, 2021


A man who seriously injured a West Des Moines police officer in a crash early Sunday admitted to investigators that he had been drinking alcohol and was playing a movie on his dashboard of his vehicle when the accident occurred.

a man wearing a striped shirt: West Des Moines Officer Jon Kaufman.

© West Des Moines Police/Special to the Register
West Des Moines Officer Jon Kaufman.

West Des Moines police officer Jon Kaufman was waiting for a tow truck during a traffic stop near Westown Parkway on Interstate Highway 35 when a car driven by John Schwartz, 61, of Kellogg, crashed into his patrol vehicle, police said. 

In addition to drinking and watching a movie, Schwartz admitted to crash investigators that he had the cruise control set and relied too much on vehicle lane assist technology, according to an Iowa State Patrol obtained incident report obtained Tuesday by the Des Moines Register. 

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A search warrant was obtained for blood and urine samples and charges are pending those results, said Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Alex Dinkla said. 

Kaufman and Schwartz both suffered serious injuries and were hospitalized, according to police. 

Kaufman’s condition had improved, West Des Moines police Sgt. Jason Bryan said Tuesday. 

Schwartz is under investigation for drunken driving and distracted driving. Police did not provide an update to his condition Tuesday.

Philip Joens covers breaking news for The Des Moines Register. He can be reached at 515-443-3347 at [email protected] or on Twitter @Philip_Joens. 

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Police: West Des Moines cop injured by driver drinking and watching a movie on vehicle dashboard

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