Public Safety

Iowa City man arrested after racially charged attack

Ronal Rarey
Ronal Rarey

IOWA CITY — An Iowa City man was arrested early Thursday after what police said was a racially charged attack.

Police were called to Cross Park Place, 820 Cross Park Ave., around 3 a.m. for a report of a drunk man being “verbally abusive and racist” and refusing to leave the lobby, according to Iowa City police criminal complaints.

Responding officers said they found Ronal Rarey, 68, a Cross Park Place resident, assaulting an employee while armed with a knife. He was taken into custody.

Cross Park Place is a housing unit for those who have been struggling with chronic homelessness.

Police said Rarey denied assaulting the woman but admitted to using racial slurs. The woman told police Rarey became angry when she refused to get him fast food. Rarey swung at the woman and pulled a knife on her, police said.

The woman and Rarey wrestled for the knife until police arrived, according to criminal complaints. The woman told police she feared for her life during the assault.

Police said Rarey has a long history of knife attacks “based on or related to race.”

Rarey was carrying a knife with a 7-inch blade and was “noticeably intoxicated,” police said.

Rarey was arrested and faces charges of assault while displaying a dangerous weapon in violation of individual rights, carrying weapons, possession of a dangerous weapon while under the influence, and interference with official acts.

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