Thursday, September 07, 2006

Police: Iowa editor attacked over article

Apologies for the nasty photo, but I believe it is important to show what happened to one of my colleagues -- Dan Ehl, editor of the Daily Iowegian in Centerville, Iowa -- because of something he wrote.

What bothers me as much as the beating Ehl suffered is the fact that local police only got around to releasing details of the early-Friday incident until Tuesday afternoon. Iowa law has, for decades, required law-enforcement authorities to make timely release of the basic facts and circumstances of incidents.

Here is what Iowegian reported on its web site today:

On Friday, at approximately 1:22 a.m., the Centerville Police Department received a call of a fight outside Gordies Bar & Grill in the 100 block of North 13th Street.

When officers arrived, it was determined the incident was between two males outside a bar. Police said the investigation revealed the incident concerned an article written by Dan Ehl of the Daily Iowegian, who was a victim in the incident.

Arrested in connection with the incident was Wade Eugene Adams, 27, of Centerville. Adams (he is at right in the photo linked -- BC) was charged with Assault with Intent to Inflict Serious Injury, an aggravated misdemeanor, and Simple Assault, a simple misdemeanor.

Adams was held in the Appanoose County Jail before being released on bond.

Ehl was taken to Mercy Medical Center-Centerville, where he was treated for a broken leg and facial injuries.

The article dealt with a Centerville City Council meeting in which the police were asking the City Council not to renew a bar's liquor license. The bar is called The Hot Spot and is managed by Adams.

(Top photo distributed by Iowa Newspaper Association.)

1 comment:

erik hogstrom said...

This is just terrible.
I agree that there are two issues raised here. The beating of a journalist for something they wrote is an attack on the freedom (and responsibility) to inform.
The lackadaisical reporting of information by police is another issue that is very troubling. Protecting and serving the public means informing the public in a timely manner.