Prosecutors Want Tougher Laws After Attack Caught on Video
By Vanessa Peng, KCCI-TV
AMES, Iowa - Two Story County prosecutors were attacked in the Story County Courthouse, and it was all captured on camera.
The Story County prosecutor said the video shows why the law on assaults needs to be changed.
Officials said the suspect in the video had an intended target, and he asked for the prosecutor by name.
Surveillance video taken from the Story County Courthouse is making prosecutors nervous, and County Attorney Stephen Holmes furious.
"Our ability, or our willingness to prosecute people who are serious criminals -- that is in jeopardy," said Holmes.
The video shows four prosecutors leaving for the day. A man approaches them and then hits a prosecutor in the face. Another prosecutor comes to his aid and is also hit in the face.
"This person could have been armed with a knife, could have been armed with a gun, and it could have been a much, much different result," said Holmes.
Holmes said a prosecutor's job can be dangerous, and when they're out in public, they can be vulnerable. He said a change in the law is necessary.
"When I prosecute someone, it's not in the name of Story County, it's in the name of the state of Iowa, and the state of Iowa needs to stand up here and recognize this," said Holmes.
Holmes wants the state Legislature to make an assault against a prosecutor just as severe as one toward a police officer.
"It takes the level of assault and bumps it up and makes it a felonious assault, makes it a felony," said Holmes.
He wants change before it's too late.
"Sadly, historically, what it takes is a tragedy. We averted one the other day," said Holmes. "I don't want to think of a tragedy. I want to be out ahead of it."
Both prosecutors received injury to their faces in the attack.
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