Public Safety

Two fights, multiple weapons lead to woman's arrest in Iowa City

The Iowa City Police Department logo is shown on a squad car in Iowa City. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
The Iowa City Police Department logo is shown on a squad car in Iowa City. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — An Iowa City woman was arrested Wednesday morning in connection with two separate and violent brawls that occurred over two days in May and involved multiple weapons.

According to Iowa City Police complaints, Africa M. Flowers, 24, faces two counts of disorderly conduct and one count of child endangerment.

Officers were called to a large brawl involving multiple people, a baseball bat and an ax about 6 p.m. on May 28 at Town and Campus Apartments in the 1100 block of Arthur Street in eastern Iowa City.

When they arrived, police said witnesses identified Flowers as being involved in the brawl, but she left the scene before police arrived.

The next day, just before 9 p.m., police were called to a residence in the 2700 block of Wayne Avenue in eastern Iowa City for a report of two females fighting with knives and pepper spray.

When they arrived, officers said witnesses reported Flowers had gotten into an argument with another woman — identified as Shawana Coleman, 25 — while Flowers’ infant daughter was nearby.

According to witness statements, police said Coleman and Timmy Lee Broadnax, 23, both of Iowa City, approached Flowers while she was holding the baby and started arguing with her. Police said Broadnax initially tried to stop Coleman from fighting with Flowers because Flowers had her daughter with her.


Witnesses told police that Flowers set the child down and started slashing at Coleman and Broadnax with a kitchen knife.

Coleman allegedly responded by spraying pepper spray at Flowers and a fourth person who was not involved in the fight. Police said Broadnax used a cellphone charging cord to repeatedly strike Flowers, causing welts to the back of her left arm.

A knife was recovered at the scene, police said, and the child was examined by paramedics for possible exposure to the pepper spray.

Coleman was arrested on June 7 and initially charged with disorderly conduct, but court records show that charge was later dismissed. Broadnax was arrested July 18 and faces one count of disorderly conduct.

Police said Flowers was arrested Wednesday. While being interviewed, investigators said Flowers admitted to involvement in both fights, but claimed she used the knife in the second brawl to protect herself.

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