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Investigation shows Mason City man shot by railroad police officer after alleged altercation


This news story was published on December 4, 2018.
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DES MOINES – An Investigation by state authorities is showing a Mason City man was shot by a railroad police officer after an alleged altercation.

On November 29th, 2018, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) was requested by the Union Pacific Railroad and Mason City Police Department to investigate an officer-involved shooting that took place just west of the intersection of 9th Street NW and Monroe Street near All Aboard Storage in Mason City, Iowa. The Union Pacific Railroad employs certified police officers to patrol rail properties across the Midwest.
An initial investigation by the DCI has determined that Union Pacific Special Agent Louis Miner stopped Nathan Lee Olson, age 30, of Mason City, Iowa for trespassing across Union Pacific property at this location and an altercation ensued. This incident remains under investigation. Olson remains in the care of the Mercy Medical Center of North Iowa.

Upon completion, the DCI will forward the results of the investigation to the Cerro Gordo County Attorney’s Office for review.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Mason City Police Department at (641) 421-3636.

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15 Responses to Investigation shows Mason City man shot by railroad police officer after alleged altercation

  1. Observer the Original Reply Report comment

    December 7, 2018 at 9:51 am

    The Law: Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation, a rail police officer who is directly employed by or contracted by a rail carrier and certified or commissioned as a police officer under the laws of a State may enforce the laws of any jurisdiction in which the rail carrier owns property, to the extent of the authority of a police officer certified or commissioned under the laws of that jurisdiction, to protect. (49 USC 28101 )

    Perquisites: A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field, plus law enforcement experience, may be preferred by certain agencies. This experience may be obtained through summer employment or internships while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Many railroad and transit agencies require a qualifying test of all candidates. Some departments are highly accredited in the field of law enforcement.

    Geographic Jurisdictions: They have interstate authority pursuant to federal law; railroad police powers have been expanded to include railroads other than the officer’s employing agency. (49 USC 28101) They handle policing of a property that local police do not have the manpower, or expertise to deal with.

    Railroads have their own reality: Show me a Municipal, County, or State law enforcement officer that knows what tampering and sabotage on a railroad looks like, what is contraband, what Federal laws govern railroad safety, or what is actual railroad property? Few if any do.

    Before one spouts off about something they have no information about, do a bit of research, this is the internet after all.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 7, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      It is not 1860 anymore. The days of outlaws heisting gold transports and savages scalping passengers are over. There is no longer anything special about the security needs of railroad corporations vis a vis other private actors. Retailers, Hospitals, Armored Services, Sport- and Entertainment Venues etc – they all have their own unique security needs, and they meet those needs using mall cops, i.e. ordinary civilian employees. They may or may not be armed, but they have no police power bestowed upon them. This should be reserved for public employees only – it is time to remove the exception made for railroad corporations.

      In terms of facts, your post brings very little to the table, so may I ask what exactly you believe should have been researched before “spouting off”?

      • Observer the Original Reply Report comment

        December 8, 2018 at 3:31 am

        Sports venues, Malls, Ports, Steel Mills, and Airports each have their special needs, that is true. The comment that they are not necessary is what I will speak to.

        However, none of those special cases mentioned above, cover as in one case, over 25,000 miles of property, in multiple jurisdictions, with 42,000 employees, and protect billions of dollars worth of equipment and customer’s goods. In addition, they deal with Customs issues at both borders, and work at inland terminals in areas I would not even venture into, such as LA.

        As I said before, it is a vast, multi-faceted organization that most local law enforcement organizations are not familiar with to handle (case in point, Federal regulations). One officer may handle a several block area, and another, a hundred miles. Both with the same mission.

        One paper from Harvard, spoke to organizations such as the Port Authority of NY/NJ, with their multiple missions, dealing with millions of passengers every day. There are just not enough local law enforcement to cover the job (which again, extends beyond city, county, or state lines) it said. They operate under the same Federal laws that establish railroad police organizations.

        Without railroad police, the companies would hemorrhage with losses in urban areas where theft is rampant, and in some cases, that is not enough. Fences, concertina wire,and cameras alone cannot prevent it. Local police just have too many other things to perform than having to concentrate on one large property for hours at a time.

        I believe that Federal preemption is a necessary element in Interstate commerce. And to that end, railroad police are integral in protecting it.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 6, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Wait for it…….. police cover-up coming soon to a railroad near you. Railroad dicks were bo chasers and have become hired guns for trespassers.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 7, 2018 at 7:49 am

      STAND YOUR GROUND by republican standards.

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 6, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Does anybody else think that the guy was probably just walking home the same way he has for years, except now that crossing is closed, and a non-local RR officer decided to get power-happy?

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 6, 2018 at 11:58 am

      Highly unlikely. The victim has a long rap sheet including violent crime, and besides, law enforcement don’t normally sneak up on trespassers and gun them down without prior warning. The claim that the shooting was preceded by an altercation is almost certainly accurate. The million dollar question is if this was a just self defense shooting during a violent fight, or an attempted homicide as the victim tried to flee the scene of a crime.

      Its too bad authorities seem to have learned so little from e.g. Ferguson, where a justified shooting resulted in riots as their total lack of investigation transparency gave a blank check to gossipers spreading lies and inciting hatred. Good thing there isn’t a racial dimension here or all hell could break loose.

    • Observer the Original Reply Report comment

      December 7, 2018 at 9:49 am

      You have no concept of what is private property and what is not. There are signs and warnings posted all over town to stay out.

      Unless you think private property rights should be ignored, open to anyone who wants to just amble through with no consequence.

      It is the law to have and hold property in this country, and if need be, protect it. And there is no exception. Cross my lawn and find out.

  4. Doctorcy80 Reply Report comment

    December 6, 2018 at 6:26 am

    Word on the street has it that Mr. Olson is now paralyzed from the waist down as a result of being shoot in the back by Union Pacific Special Agent Louis Miner while running away from the officer after a confrontation. But who knows when the truth will be revealed.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 6, 2018 at 11:42 am

      Lets just hope that neither of those rumors are true because, since that hired gun happens to enjoy police-status, the chances that he would be convicted of ANYTHING are slim to none. Alas, the fact that everyone who knows are keeping mum is not a good sign.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 7, 2018 at 4:56 am

        Wanna bet? I’ll take your money. Mr. Miner is neither Black nor Muslim, so he has no PC umbrella to shield him from the shit-storm.

  5. sad but true Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2018 at 9:17 am

    taking a very long time to formulate a story to justify this action. Not good

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2018 at 7:38 am

    DURING or AFTER the altercation? What everyone wants to know is if it is true that he was shot in the back – I guess we will have to keep waiting.