Fights Saturday lead to arrests, early shut down of Sweet Corn Festival

Cedar Rapids police officer injured in melee involving 70 juveniles

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CEDAR RAPIDS — The last day of the St. Jude Sweet Corn Festival went off without a hitch Sunday, a day after fights caused police to shut down it down early for the day.

“Sunday we had a fantastic day and everything went smoothly,” said Mike Graeve, chairman of the festival.

But fights on Saturday night led to the event being shut down early for the day. Public safety spokesman Greg Buelow said a 15-year-old boy was facing charges of disorderly conduct and interference with official acts in one fight. After that, a larger fight involving about 70 juveniles started.

During that melee, a Cedar Rapids police officer was jumped and assaulted by a 16-year-old boy while the officer was taking another subject into custody, Buelow said. The officer was punched in the face and kicked while on the ground, and suffered minor injuries. That 16-year-old was arrested on one count of assault on a police officer.

Police also arrested three boys — ages 12, 15 and 16 — and a 14-year-old girl on disorderly conduct charges.

The fights prompted police to ask festival organizers to shut down the Sweet Corn Festival, Graeve said. It ended for the evening at 9:45 p.m.

One of the initial fights was believed to have been over a “relationship issue,” Buelow said.

Buelow said fights continued after the festival was closed for the evening. The Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Marion and Hiawatha police departments and the Iowa State Patrol also responded.

Graeve said he’s grateful to those who came to the event Sunday.

“I really want to thank all of the people that came out to support us,” he said. “It was a real blessing to share our community with the rest of the community.”

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