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  • 8

    Iowa City Has A Problem...A Race Problem
    Race; Posted on: 2009-04-23 20:27:41 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    College town scene of unprovoked attacks

    A reader's comment: "I am from this area. I would say that 80-90% of the assaults are being done by Blacks. Iowa City has a racial problem, but no one wants to admit it for fear of being called a racist. And Iowa City is a liberal community, so there is an aversion to looking at the reality of the racial component. The whole thing is pretty scary. There was an employee from the University of Iowa that was walking down the Ped Mall about 2 weeks ago and got sucker punched--breaking his jaw. And it doesn't appear to be Black students from the University causing this problem--but there is a racial factor at work here."

    IOWA CITY. IA--Gangs of men punching people on the street at random. Street fights where bystanders sometimes cheer, and where those who try to intervene sometimes get beaten themselves.

    Police in this quintessential college town say there's been a dramatic rise in unprovoked beatings in the downtown area next to the University of Iowa over the last several months. Though the mix of young people and alcohol often leads to fighting, police say the intense violence and random nature of the attacks have them worried.

    Police don't break out statistics for the downtown area near campus, but they point to several disturbing incidents in the past month alone:

    _On March 27, a college-aged man was assaulted at about 2 a.m. downtown. Witnesses said six to 10 men ganged up on him, and when another man tried to intervene, he too was knocked unconscious. Police say the assailants then ran along a downtown street, punching other men as they passed.**

    _On April 2, a 22-year-old man was smoking outside a downtown bar when six men approached him and asked for cigarettes. As he was handing them out, the men knocked him to the ground and took the whole pack. Later, the same man walked past a group of men who knocked him to the ground and stole his watch.

    _On April 6, a man woke up to bystanders helping him sit up. The man told police someone he didn't know knocked him unconscious. He didn't realize his jaw was broken until a hospital visit the next afternoon.

    _On April 16, two college-age men stepped outside a bar to smoke at about 1:15 a.m. After an argument with others, one of the men was pushed to the ground, then kicked and punched by several people. He suffered a broken nose and a head cut requiring staples to close.

    "I really don't understand the motivation for the violence," Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey said. "It's severe and concerning that people find this acceptable and people are seeking this out."

    Kelsay said police have stepped up late-night patrols downtown, but they have had a hard time tracking down suspects because they usually can't find witnesses. And sometimes those who see a beating actually cheer on the attackers, he said.

    "It's become an unfortunate part of the bar culture in Iowa City," Kelsay said.


    **Beating in Ped Mall being investigated

    IOWA CITY, IA. -- The Iowa City Police Dept, is investigating an assault that occurred in the Ped Mall, on Friday, 3-27-09, near the intersection of Dubuque and College St, between 1:45am and 2am. Witnesses reported that the victim had run to the aid of a college age male who was being beaten up by 6 to 10 black males. The victim, who was knocked unconscious to the ground, was treated for non life threatening injuries at Mercy Hospital. The suspects were last seen running north on Dubuque St, randomly punching other males as they ran by them. One of the suspects is described as a thin, light skinned black male, about 6' tall, with his hair pulled back into a pony tail, wearing a gray hoodie and white t-shirt with black writing or logo on the front.

    Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $1000 for information leading to the arrest of this suspect.  Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact CrimeStoppers at 358-TIPS (8477).  All calls are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed.  Individuals providing information do not have to reveal their identity to collect a reward.


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