Centerville man accused of assault, destroying hospital and hotel property

IOWA CITY — A Centerville man is accused of assaulting a woman and destroying property at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and a Coralville hotel.

According to University of Iowa police criminal complaints, 27-year-old Earl E. Opperman was staying at the Heartland Inn in Coralville on Jan. 24 with a woman and her 4-year-old son. Authorities said around 6 a.m. that day, Opperman “became enraged” with the woman and kicked a hole in the hotel wall. Opperman also slashed a mattress with a knife while being “verbally abuse and aggressive” toward the woman, police said.

Authorities said Opperman had a second outburst while at the Center for Disabilities and Development at UIHC. Police said Opperman “became extremely angry” and proceeded to destroy a first floor bathroom while the woman and child were inside. Opperman ripped a changing table and thermostat from the wall and bent other metal items in the bathroom.

Police said Opperman also pinned the woman against the wall and screamed profanities and “derogatory language,” at her. Opperman allegedly threatened to kill the woman and himself.

Later, Opperman refused to let the woman off an elevator, police said. The victim reported being scared of Opperman.

Opperman was arrested Jan. 25 and faces charges of false imprisonment, fourth-degree criminal mischief, two counts of child endangerment, second-degree criminal mischief and domestic assault.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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