An Iowa City police sergeant who was assaulted by a former University of Iowa student in 2011 is suing his attacker for damages, including pain and suffering, lost wages and future earning capacity.
Sgt. Brian Krei also is asking for punitive damages against Branden Leo Plummer, 21, of Urbandale, to ensure that he and others like him “will be deterred from like misconduct in the future,” according to the lawsuit filed in Johnson County District Court.
“Branden Leo Plummer’s actions constitute willful and wanton disregard for the rights and safety of another,” Krei sates in his lawsuit.
Plummer is accused of attacking Krei about 2 a.m. Nov. 18, 2011, as Krei was on patrol near the intersection of Linn and Burlington streets in downtown Iowa City. Krei stopped Plummer for blocking traffic at the intersection, according to investigators. Plummer responded by punching Krei, pushing his head into the concrete and choking him, causing him to lose consciousness, according to police.
Krei suffered a concussion, abrasions and contusions.
Plummer initially was charged with attempted murder and could have ended up with a lengthy prison term if convicted. Instead, he pleaded guilty in September to lesser charges of willful injury, a felony, and interference with official acts inflicting bodily injury.
In November, Plummer was sentenced to a suspended prison sentence of up to five years, meaning he could serve that time if he violates the conditions of his two-year probation term. He also was given a 60-day sentence in the Johnson County Jail.
The sentencing judge gave Plummer credit for the 30 days he had already spent in jail, meaning he had one month left. He’s no longer being held at the jail, according to online booking records.
During Plummer’s sentencing hearing, he, his attorney and his therapist pleaded with the judge to defer the felony – keeping his record clear of serious charges. The judge denied that request, calling his actions “a crime of violence.”
Krei said after the hearing that he hopes Plummer “gets his life straightened out.”
In his lawsuit, Krei said Plummer caused damages including past and future physical and mental pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, past and future loss of full body, past lost wages and future earning capacity.
During Plummer’s sentencing hearing, his therapist told the court that Plummer is enrolled in Upper Iowa University, has a job and has an internship scheduled. She said he also has proactively undergone alcohol treatment.
Assistant County Attorney Anne Lahey, however, pointed out that Plummer has been drinking since he entered treatment and was ticketed after his attempted murder arrest for trespassing.