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Mason City man sentenced to prison for assaulting Cerro Gordo correctional officers

MASON CITY | A Mason City man has been sentenced to two years in prison and nearly two years in jail after pleading guilty in October to a number of assault charges involving correctional officers, nurses and a doctor. 

King Allah James, 27, was accused of assaulting two correctional officers who were trying to restrain and move him in October due to his behavior towards other Cerro Gordo County Jail inmates, court documents say.

James poked one in the eye, requiring the officer to be seen in the emergency room, and bit the officer's arm and chest, according to court documents. James was also accused of headbutting the second officer and kicking the officer's face and thigh. 

Judge Karen Salic earlier this month sentenced James to two years in prison for assault on persons in certain occupations. He was also given a $625 fine, which was suspended.

A second count of assault on persons in certain occupations and interference with official acts causing bodily injury was dismissed through a plea agreement.

James was also sentenced on several other charges, which he entered written pleas of guilty to in Cerro Gordo County District Court.

• Assault on persons in certain occupations — James was accused of spitting on a Cerro Gordo County correctional officer in May, according to court documents. Salic ordered him to serve 365 days in jail and to pay a $315 fine.

• Assault on persons in certain occupations — James was accused of spitting on a doctor, biting a nurse’s hand and spitting on her, and biting another nurse’s finger and spitting on her at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa in April. Salic sentenced him to 30 days in jail. Two other counts of assault on persons in certain occupations were dismissed through a plea agreement.

James was also sentenced on a probation violation for a domestic abuse assault charge from December 2016. Salic sentenced him to 305 days in jail for violating his probation. 

An assault on persons in certain occupations charge in which law enforcement accused James of spitting on a correctional officer May 20 was dismissed.

James has filed a civil rights complaint against Cerro Gordo County Jail, Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa, jail staff and others involving incidents at the jail. That complaint is pending in federal court. 

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Update: Man wanted by Nebraska authorities arrested after Mason City chase


MASON CITY | A man wanted by Nebraska authorities was arrested after he led Iowa State Patrol troopers on a chase ending in southern Mason City Tuesday morning. 

The Iowa State Patrol said in a news release a trooper attempted to stop a vehicle for a seat belt violation at the intersection of Highway 65 and the Avenue of the Saints. 

After the trooper briefly spoke with the driver, the driver fled in his vehicle. The pursuit ended near 19th Street Southwest and South Grover Avenue, where the State Patrol said a trooper made intentional contact with the fleeing vehicle. 

Elias Mendoza, 21, the driver of the vehicle, fled on foot, the State Patrol said, but was taken into custody inside an apartment. 

Mendoza, who the State Patrol said was wanted on a Nebraska warrant, was charged with 11 simple misdemeanors, including interference with official acts. 

Charges include:

• Depositing or throwing litter.

• Failure to wear or maintain safety belts.

• Failure to have a valid license or permit.

• Failure to prove sec against liability.

• Fail to yield to an emergency vehicle.

• Speeding.

• Unsafe passing.

• Unsafe turn or failure to give signal.

• Unsafe entry onto sidewalk or driveway.

• Failure to obey stop or yield sign.

• Interference with official acts.

Mendoza was booked into the Cerro Gordo County Jail at 8:53 a.m., where he is being held without bond. 

Nebraska authorities have placed a hold on him for burglary/theft parole violations. 

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Defense: 'Bachelor' star performed CPR on victim in fatal Iowa crash

INDEPENDENCE | Reality TV star Chris Soules performed CPR on an Aurora farmer after rear-ending a tractor, and he continued the procedure until it was clear the effort was futile, according to court records.

Soules, 35, of rural Arlington, is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash in the April collision that killed 66-year-old Kenneth Mosher, and details of the CPR effort were included in a defense motion that was filed Monday again asking the court to throw out the case.

“Four other individuals were on the scene with Mr. Soules nearly immediately, but Mr. Soules nevertheless took it upon himself to try to revive Mr. Mosher. Tellingly, after blood began coming from Mr. Mosher’s mouth and Mr. Soules stopped CPR, none of the other four individuals on the scene restarted CPR,” defense attorney Gina Messamer wrote in the motion.

One person was kneeling next to Mosher and could have resumed CPR, and three others were nearby, according to the defense.

“The fact that these bystanders did not restart CPR indicates they did not believe it would have been beneficial to Mr. Mosher. Their unanimous inaction confirms it was reasonable for Chris not to continue CPR,” Messamer wrote in the motion.

Authorities said Soules left the crash scene on Slater Avenue before law enforcement arrived and then refused to exit his home until authorities had obtained a search warrant.

Defense attorneys said Soules called 911 to summon help to the scene, identified himself to dispatchers and provided assistance before leaving. In the past, his attorneys challenged Iowa’s leaving-the-scene statute on the grounds that its requirement to return to the scene or report the surviving driver’s location after leaving is unconstitutional.

On Monday, the defense argued that the statute’s requirement to remain at the scene wasn’t violated in the Aurora crash.

“Because the minutes of testimony indisputably establish Mr. Soules contacted law enforcement, provided identification and ensured medical providers were attending to Mr. Mosher before he departed the scene, he did not commit the charged offense and it must be dismissed,” Messamer said in the motion.

She noted that the law is worded to allow drivers to leave to seek help or report the collision, but because drivers can now call for assistance with cell phones, the wording is ambiguous.

“Here, ambiguity arises because the first sentence … does not define how long a surviving driver must remain at the scene … The legislature would not have intended for a surviving driver to remain at the scene forever if the driver had no cause to leave to seek aid or notify law enforcement,” she wrote in the motion.

A hearing on the motions to dismiss is scheduled for Nov. 27. Trial for the case is tentatively set for January.

MATTHEW PUTNEY, Waterloo Courier 

Chris Soules appears for a hearing in Buchanan County District Court Thursday, Sept. 14, in Independence. Soules, a reality TV star, is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash near Aurora in April. 


Mason City man accused of hitting pregnant woman


MASON CITY | A Mason City man has been arrested for allegedly hitting a known pregnant woman in September.

Troy L. Bijani, 21, was charged with domestic abuse assault after an incident about noon Sept. 12 at a residence in the 200 block of Sixth Street Southeast.  

Bijani allegedly hit the woman, held her down, put his hands around her throat and across her face, according to the criminal complaint.

He was previously released and failed to appear for an arraignment Oct. 17. A warrant was issued for his arrest Oct. 19. 

Bijani was arrested in Floyd County Nov. 7 and transported to the Cerro Gordo County Jail, where he is being held for $2,000 bond.

— Courtney Fiorini