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Iowa man who ran down protesters gets probation

This news story was published on January 9, 2021.
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IOWA CITY – An Iowa man who intentionally drove his car into a crowd of protesters in Iowa City and struck a number of them got probation.

On Tuesday, Aug. 25. 2020, after consultatiion with the Johnson County Attorney’s Office, Iowa City Police made an arrest in the case of the vehicle that drove through a protest group on Friday night at the intersection of Burlington and Gilbert Streets. Michael Stepanek, age 45, was taken into custody without resistance. He was charged with the following crimes:

• Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon
• Willful Injury (felony)

This arrest was made possible by a victim who was struck, coming forth and providing a statement to investigators.

Police say that on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020 at approximately 8:25 PM, Iowa City Police personnel in an unmarked police car observed a vehicle accelerating eastbound at a high rate of speed on Burlington Street away from protesters who were occupying the intersection of Burlington and Gilbert Streets. The officer noted the license plate, but was unaware that the vehicle had just struck several protesters and was unable to follow the vehicle due to traffic and pedestrian congestion. No reports to police were made regarding the incident by protesters, observers, or the driver of the vehicle. On Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, the Iowa City Police Department was made aware of a video on Twitter that depicted multiple protesters who were struck by a vehicle in the intersection of Gilbert Street and Burlington Street. With the information provided by the Iowa City Police officer who initially noted the plate of the vehicle, the vehicle and driver, allegedly Stepanek, were located.

An Iowa City woman, Julia Weissenfluh of Iowa City, wrote on social media, “I saw that accident happen. The driver squealed their tires through a crowd of PEACEFUL protesters. There was a human being on the hood of the driver’s car for at least a 1/2 block. You cannot tell me that was accidental or that the driver was not at fault.”

The criminal complaint reportedly states that Stepanek told officers that the protesters needed “an attitude adjustment.”

Judge Paul Miller, however, on a charge of felony willful injury sentenced Stepanek to 3 years of probation as part of a deferred judgement, which includes a suspended fine and $223.95 in court costs. His record could be wiped clean if he can avoid new crimes. The charge of assault while displaying a dangerous weapon was thrown out.


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7 Responses to Iowa man who ran down protesters gets probation

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 10, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Well finally some common sense – guy was afraid PEACEFULL protesters would beat the chit out of him used some common sense. Thanks judge!

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 9, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Let’s see, low IQ libertards blocking intersection, check.
    Morons get hit by car,(one hanging on hood leads me to believe that car was attacked and driver “stepped on it”), check.
    Other libertards shocked driver got probation instead of prison, priceless.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 10, 2021 at 3:36 pm

      In what world is it legal to run people down?

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 10, 2021 at 7:32 pm

        I would say, in the same world that allows domestic terrorists to riot for nearly 8 months, and does very very little about it.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 10, 2021 at 7:47 pm

          It was “legal” for them to rape, loot, burn, stab, shoot, try to harm with explosives, and good old fashion beat downs.
          Yep. BLM/ANTIFA domestic terrorists.

          • Anonymous

            January 10, 2021 at 9:01 pm

            Your a sick little vermin ain’t you?

  3. Lawsteward Reply Report comment

    January 9, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    …”say what???”