Iowa City Police have arrested a Wisconsin man for a reported armed robbery and ensuing standoff earlier this week.

According to a news release from the ICPD, at 6:04 Wednesday night officers made a traffic stop in the area of South Riverside Drive and Highway 6 East. The driver…later identified as 41-year-old Rick Wappler of Cascade, Wisconsin…indicated he was armed with a knife.


Wappler fled the scene in the vehicle, and a pursuit involving Iowa City Police and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office ensued. The pursuit was ended due to the risk to public safety.

At 9:16 that night, the ICPD responded to a report of a hit-and-run crash near 130 Highway 1 West. Witness descriptions matched Wappler and the vehicle he was last seen driving. Officers began searching the area for Wappler.

At 9:50 p.m., officers were informed via dispatch of a robbery and carjacking in the 100 block of Prairie Hill Lane. Iowa City officers and Johnson County deputies responded to the scene and located Wappler in a vehicle. A standoff ensued, and members of the police department’s Crisis Negotiation Team communicated with Wappler during the incident. At that time, police learned of an additional break-in involving Wappler that had occurred earlier in the 100 block of Prairie Hill Lane.

One of the break-in allegedly involved Wappler forcing his way into a home and threatening the resident at knifepoint after he kicked in the door of the bedroom in which she’d barricaded herself. The other reported home invasion had Wappler attack a man in his 70’s, sending the victim to a local hospital with a head injury.

After approximately three hours of unsuccessful negotiations, officers attempted to take Wappler into custody. During the exchange, an Iowa City officer discharged their service weapon once. Wappler was not struck by the discharged weapon and was taken into custody through less-lethal force.

Wappler was taken to an area hospital for evaluation. He is now charged with two counts of 1st Degree Burglary and one count each of 1st Degree Robbery and Going Armed with Intent. If convicted on all charges, Wappler faces a maximum of 80 years in prison.