Public Safety

Iowa City soccer match turns ugly; Cedar Rapids man faces assault charge

Jose A. Cruz-Martinez
Jose A. Cruz-Martinez

IOWA CITY — An adult soccer match turned into a brawl last month, with at least one fan seeking medical attention.

About noon Aug. 25, a match at Iowa City Kickers Soccer Park, 4400 Soccer Park Rd., started to get out of hand with players pushing and shoving one another, according to an Iowa City police criminal complaint. Police said a referee, coaches and fans were unable to de-escalate the situation.

“Unfortunately, punches started flying,” police said in the criminal complaint.

Police said a fan who tried to get in between the two teams to calm things down was “sucker-punched” in the nose. Thinking the nose was broken, he went to a doctor and was diagnosed with a contusion.

Police eventually identified Jose A. Cruz-Martinez, 33, of Cedar Rapids, as an assailant in the brawl.

Cruz-Martinez, through his attorney, told police he was trying to break up the fight until someone brought out a glass bottle. Cruz-Martinez, who said he suffered scratches in the melee, said he fled the park with his son.

Cruz-Martinez eventually agreed to turn himself in at the Iowa City Police Department. He faces one count of assault causing bodily injury or mental illness, a serious misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

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