UI Student Charged With Attempted Murder in Officer Assault

By Jeff Raasch, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa – A CrimeStopper tip led Iowa City police to the arrest of the man they say was responsible for putting a choke-hold on an officer even as he gasped for air.

Branden L. Plummer, 20, was arrested Tuesday at his residence, 500 S. Gilbert St. No. 21, and has been charged with attempted murder in the case, according to a criminal complaint filed in Johnson County District Court.

Plummer is accused of assaulting Iowa City police Sgt. Brian Krei around 1:20 a.m. Nov. 18 near the intersection of Burlington and Linn streets in downtown Iowa City. Krei stopped to talk to a young man because he was disrupting traffic. The suspect tried to run away and a struggle ensued when Krei caught him and both men fell to the ground.

According to police, Plummer choked Krei for nearly two minutes, causing him to briefly lose consciousness, before running away. Krei, a 29-year veteran, has recovered from cuts and bruises and is back on duty.

Plummer is accused of using his forearm to choke Krei from behind, and using his other arm to grab his wrist and secure the hold, according to a criminal complaint. A witness told police the suspect "slammed the officer's head into the concrete and told him not to call 911."

A second witness told investigators the officer was bleeding and gasping for air during the assault, according to the complaint. At one point, the suspect used the officer's squad car for leverage to pull the officer off the ground, according to a witness.

Police released more audiovisual evidence of the incident Tuesday, including dramatic audio of the attack and a surveillance image of the shirtless suspect.

Plummer, originally from Urbandale, is listed in the University of Iowa student directory.

At his initial court appearance just before 9 a.m. Wednesday, Plummer's hearing has been set for December 12. His bond has been set at $100,000. If convicted, Plummer could face a 25-year minimum mandatory jail sentence.

According to police, the Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers and the Iowa City Police Association – Local 16 both offered $1000 rewards for information leading to an arrest.

Editor's Note: Below is video provided by the Iowa City Police Department. The dash camera video does contain profanity.

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