Updated: Man accused of pulling knife faces assault charge

UI police issued Hawk Alert Sunday afternoon

The Gazette

IOWA CITY — A man is facing assault charges after Iowa City police say he was involved in two separate incidents near the University of Iowa campus on Sunday afternoon.

According to police, Michael K. Phelps, 44, confronted three people in an alley near 400 E. Market St. around 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Police say Phelps began harassing the trio and an argument ensued. At some point, Phelps pulled a knife and told one of the alleged victims, “I’ll gut you like a pig,” police said.

At 1:20 p.m., police say Phelps showed up in the 300 block of North Clinton Street near Burge Hall, a student dorm at UI. Police said Phelps was observed engaging in assaultive behavior involving a female before two men intervened. Police are uncertain if a knife was involved in that incident.

Phelps was taken into custody a few hours after this incident and faces charges of assault while displaying a dangerous weapon, an aggravated misdemeanor, as well as disorderly conduct. Police said they found a knife in Phelps’ pocket and he admitted to being involved in the earlier incident.

University of Iowa students were made aware of the situation through a Hawk Alert issued Sunday afternoon.

University officials said the University of Iowa Police Department issued the Hawk Alert “to inform the community of a possibly dangerous situation. Though the suspect’s intentions were unknown, the UIPD wanted to provide this information to campus so students, faculty and staff could take the necessary action to avoid the area to preserve their personal safety.”

Iowa City police said they still are attempting to speak with the female involved in the second incident and additional charges may be issued at a later time.

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