Iowa City man who crashed into Scheels sentenced

May serve up to 17 years in prison for 2012 incident

Published: March 12 2014 | 1:18 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:30 am in Johnson County,

An Iowa City man accused of ramming his SUV through the front doors of Scheels in December 2012 will serve up to 17 years in prison.

According to online court records, Joseph A. Moreno, 24, will serve 10 years for first-degree criminal mischief, five years for intimidation with a dangerous weapon, two years for reckless use of a firearm causing property damage and two days for drunken driving.

Moreno was accused of crashing though the entrance to Scheels at the Coral Ridge Mall on Dec. 29, prompting a response from the Coralville Police Department's emergency response team. He told investigators that prior to crashing his vehicle, Moreno had been at his residence in Iowa City, where he drank an unknown amount of Black Velvet whiskey. Moreno attempted to leave the apartment in his drunken state, but was stopped by his roommate. Agitated, Moreno retrieved his 9 mm handgun and fired it once into the hallway, according to police. His roommate told police Moreno fired the gun between one and 10 times.

Police said Moreno left in his Ford Explorer, but does not remember where he went before he wound up parked inside the sporting goods store. Police said Moreno fired his gun four times into the windshield of the SUV while he was still inside the vehicle.

Officers responded to a burglary alarm at the store at 2:32 a.m. and discovered the SUV near the escalator. Officers delayed entering the store when the motion detector was activated and a gunshot was heard from inside. Moreno wasn't arrested until 8:54 a.m., when police found him passed out on the floor inside the store. The handgun and a 9 mm magazine were recovered inside.

Moreno has been credited for the less than two days he spent in custody, according to court records. All fines related to his charges have been suspended.

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