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Police: Panhandler Punches Burger King Worker in Mouth

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DES MOINES, Iowa - A downtown Burger King employee says she was punched in the mouth by a panhandler when she asked the woman to leave.

A police reports said Kristian Michelle Cooks, 22, of Des Moines, then fled into the skywalk.

An officer and an NPI security guard caught up with Cooks in the skywalk where she's accused of taking a swing at an officer before her pants began falling down. Police said she tripped and fell to the ground.

Officers placed her in handcuffs. The report said Cooks continued to struggle causing her pants to fall down further.

The report said Cooks continued to spout profanity in an elevator while her pants fell to her ankles. As an officer walked her into the lobby of 666 Walnut, she yelled, "Look at this! This (expletive) is trying to rape me!"

Officer Stephanie Graves arrived and offered twice to assist Cooks in pulling up her pants but Cooks refused, according to the report. Cooks then removed her shoes and took her pants off.

The Burger King employee identified Cooks as the woman who hit her.

Cooks reportedly said, "That (expletive) should not have talked to me!"

Cooks was booked into the Polk County Jail. She's charged with assault causing injury, simple assault on a peace officer and interference.

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