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Craigslist sale becomes attempted robbery

BY BENJAMIN TOWAR | FEBRUARY 09, 2015 5:00 AM

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A Craigslist sale went sour on Sunday in Iowa City, leaving one area resident hit in the head with a pistol.

The Iowa City police responded to a call about an armed robbery at approximately 11 a.m., which occurred during the attempted sale of a remote-control truck.

The incident happened near the intersection of Court and Linn Streets.

The suspect is a white male wearing a tan Carhartt jacket and blue jeans. He is around 5-4 and 300 pounds, police said.

Shawn Knepp, the victim of the armed robbery, said he met with the suspect between 10:45 and 10:50 a.m. outside the Telluride apartment building on Court Street.

The meeting was arranged to discuss Knepp’s ad on Craigslist, offering to sell a custom-made RC truck for $600.

The buyer, however, would not agree to the price, and then the violence reportedly occurred.

After the suspect showed a handgun, Knepp confronted him by tackling him, according to police.
Holding him to the pavement, Knepp said he screamed for help from bystanders, attracting the attention of some tenants of the nearby apartments.

During the altercation, nobody physically intervened between Knepp and the suspect.

Knepp was then struck in the head, he said, with the butt of the black pistol, forcing him to let the suspect up.

The suspect then fled the scene, heading west on Court Street.

Knepp, bleeding, then staggered around the corner to the safety of a nearby store.

Apartment resident Maya Amjadi called 911 at 11:10 a.m. after seeing Knepp walking into a nearby shop while bleeding.

“I was writing an essay when I heard screaming,” she said. “There were people from the other apartments looking from their balconies … they probably made calls earlier, because the police arrived almost right after I called.”

Iowa City police arrived at 11:06 a.m., according to a police statement, roping off the sidewalk where blood, a hoodie, broken sunglasses, and a pocketknife were located.

Knepp refused medical attention at the scene for a “minor injury to his head,” the statement said.

Lt. Mike Brotherton confirmed the victim’s story of the altercation. He said the police were investigating the incident further.

“Before it happened, he kept saying that he had the money,” Knepp said, referring to the suspect.
The remote-control truck is still in Knepp’s possession.

As of Sunday night, Iowa City police were still investigating the whereabouts and identity of the suspect.

The Craigslist ad was still active as of Sunday night.


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