Iowa City man accused of trying to disarm officer

Suspect had walked out of emergency treatment center, reports indicate

By Lee Hermiston, The Gazette
Published: May 2 2014 | 2:34 pm in Arrests, Personal Safety, Public Safety Rotator,

A man determined to be a threat to himself or others is accused of attempting to disarm a police officer.

According to University of Iowa police, on Thursday morning, Steven B. Willard, 50, of Iowa City, walked out of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics emergency treatment center after being committed by the court for being a danger to himself or others. A UI officer located Willard several hours later on Highway 6 in Iowa City, apparently trying to hitchhike.

Police said Willard gave the officer a fake name and, when the officer was confirming Willard’s real identity, the man “came at” the officer. Willard allegedly pushed the officer and reached for his sidearm. Police said Willard told the officer he was “not going back to prison.”

Willard was unable to take the officer’s weapon and was eventually taken to the ground with assistance from an off duty Iowa City police officer and a civilian. The officer suffered several cuts to his hands during the altercation, according to criminal complaints.

Police said Willard later said he went for the officer’s gun because he did not want the officer to shoot him. He was taken into custody and faces charges of interference of official acts while attempting to use a dangerous weapon, a Class C felony; disarming a peace officer, a Class D felony; and assault causing injury to a peace officer, an aggravated misdemeanor.


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