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Iowa City police looking man who assaulted cop

BY HAYLEY BRUCE | NOVEMBER 30, 2011 7:20 AM

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The Johnson County Attorney's Office said a man who allegedly strangled an Iowa City police officer earlier this month will be charged with attempted murder if he's caught.

That comes after officials reviewed available evidence following the reported assault of a police officer on Nov. 18.

Iowa City police Sgt. Denise Brotherton said the suspect was likely charged with attempted murder because of the nature of the assault.

"He was strangling the officer," Brotherton said. "He was strangling him and hitting his head against the ground, and the officer lost consciousness."

The release said the officer was out alone on patrol at 2:10 a.m. when he noticed a man interfering with traffic at the intersection of Burlington and Linn Streets.

The officer approached the man, who allegedly said he had an ID but refused to give it to the officer before attempting to run away. The officer reportedly grabbed the man, causing them to fall to the ground in a struggle.

The man then allegedly put his arm around the officers neck and attempted to strangle him — causing scrapes to the officer's hands and legs, bruises on his throat and neck, and a laceration to his head — before a passerby intervened.

Following the struggle, the man allegedly ran south along Linn Street, according to police.

Brotherton said the department has never dealt with an assault of this nature in which they were unable to immediately apprehend the suspect.

"What happened here is there was no backup available, he went up to the person and hadn't even initiated arrest — there wasn't a foot chase," Brotherton said. "The guy just turned on him and started strangling him."

Attempted murder is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

In hopes of apprehending the suspect, police have since released several photos and a video of him, captured on a security camera after he entered Mega Bite, 335 S. Gilbert St., after the alleged incident.

Iowa City Crime Stoppers has guaranteed a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of this subject. The Iowa City Police Association-Local 16 has also guaranteed an additional $1,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

The officer, whose name is not yet being released, has snce returned to full duty.


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