Felony Warrants Issued Against Man Shot by Cedar Falls Police Officer
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Two warrants naming felony assault and drug charges have been issued for Zachary Church of Parkersburg in connection with the assault involving Cedar Falls Police officer Bob Anderson that occurred early Christmas morning.
Anderson shot Church in the incident. The warrants will be served on Church upon his release from Sartori Memorial Hospital, where he is reported to be in stable condition Police Chief Jeff Olson said.
The warrants name charges of felony assault on a police officer, a class D felony, and possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver, also a class D felony.
Olson has said Anderson shot Church after he was beating the officer on the ground during a traffic stop. Anderson, who was beaten about the face and head, was treated for injuries at Sartori and later released, Olson said.
Olson said Officer Anderson was on routine patrol when he observed a vehicle stopped with its motor running at West Second Street and Hudson Road. Anderson found Church asleep behind the wheel and also observed drugs in the vehicle.
Anderson woke the driver up and asked him to take a seat in the back of his squad car while he waited for a backup officer before investigating further.
When Church, who is 6 foot 2 inches tall and 270 pounds, got to the squad car, he turned on the smaller Anderson and assaulted him, Olson said.
"He was beating the officer in the face and then had him on the ground, with Church on top of the officer," Olson said. "He continued to beat the officer in the face and head. Then the officer felt a tug on his duty belt."
Anderson gave unheeded commands to Church to stop. Anderson "started getting dizzy, was concerned about losing consciousness and he pulled his duty revolver and shot Church," Olson said. "Church backed off momentarily and assaulted the officer again. The officer shot a second time."
Church then left Anderson on the ground and attempted to drive away in his car, but couldn't because Anderson earlier had shut off the vehicle and taken the keys while Church was asleep.
Anderson's backup officer arrived, heard the shots, called for additional officers and Church was detained. Olson noted that a witness to the incident who lived in the area thought Anderson had been shot because he was the one on the ground.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has been called in to investigate the incident, which is standard procedure with any officer-involved shooting, Olson said.
The incident occurred just a half-block southwest of Iowa State Patrol Post 9 headquarters. Olson said although the State Patrol post is nearby, troopers were on duty elsewhere throughout the multi-county district they patrol at the time the incident occurred.
Olson said Anderson, a 20-year veteran of the Cedar Falls Police Department, likely will be put on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues.
"That's pretty standard - administrative leave until we're comfortable to bring him back, until the investigation's well concluded or close to being concluded, and to give him time to calm down" and recover emotionally from the incident if necessary, Olson said.
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