Public Safety

Gang member arrested after scuffle with Cedar Rapids officers, police say

Authorities said Marcus L. Brown is a member of the 'O15 street gang'

CEDAR RAPIDS — A known gang member was arrested over the weekend after he fought with and tried to flee from police during a traffic stop, police said.

Marcus L. Brown, 18, faces charges of criminal gang participation, felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and three counts of interference with official acts, according to the criminal complaint from the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

The charges, police said, stem from a traffic stop about 6:35 p.m. Saturday in the 1200 block of Third Avenue SE when officers pulled over the vehicle Brown was driving.

Police said officers on patrol in the area of 10th Street and Fifth Avenue SE noticed a Chevrolet Impala with a “loud exhaust system and the muffler hanging low underneath the vehicle” that failed to come to a complete stop at Eighth Street and Fifth Avenue SE.

During the traffic stop, Brown attempted to “move something in the back seat of the vehicle,” public safety spokesman Greg Buelow said Monday. Officers asked Brown and others in the car to get out, and they were searched.

A “pat down,” Buelow said, revealed the muzzle of a handgun concealed in Brown’s clothing. When officers attempted to handcuff Brown, he tried to break away, grabbing for his gun, police said.

Buelow said an officer was able to “hold on to the suspect” and keep him under control, as other officers arrived and assisted with taking Brown into custody.

Two officers, according to the complaint, were scratched up during the scuffle.

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Buelow said Brown “is an identified member of the hybrid gang known as O15,” but declined to disclose more information.

“The police department is unable to elaborate further on intelligence information regarding hybrid gang activity, but certainly are acknowledging that we believe that this suspect is a member of a known hybrid gang in our community,” he said in an email to The Gazette.

Hybrid gangs, police said, don’t contain the traditional structure of historic criminal street gangs. They are generally loosely affiliated and often change their allegiance to one another.

“They are often in disputes about relationship issues or other perceived grievances,” Buelow told The Gazette in April. “And, unfortunately, some have access to firearms and are using them to attempt to settle their disputes.”

Brown is being held at Linn County Jail on a $10,000 cash-only bond.

Buelow said it is likely more charges will be filed, possibly including federal charges.

• Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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