Police: Ottumwa Man Punched Employee While Attempting to Steal Cigarettes

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An Ottumwa man was arrested after allegedly attempting to steal from a local business and assaulting an employee during the attempt.

46-year-old Christopher Cox was charged with second-degree robbery (Class C felony), assault while participating in a felony (Class C felony), and assault on persons in certain occupations (serious misdemeanor).

According to court records, Cox entered the Yesway on Church Street at approximately 2:10 PM on Wednesday, April 20, and demanded cigarettes from an employee. Cox then walked behind the counter and tried to grab a package of cigarettes valued at $7.46.

Police say the female employee attempted to remove Cox from the area and Cox punched the victim in the face. The employee later developed redness and swelling in the area she was struck.

Cox was placed under arrest and transported to the Wapello County Jail on the same day of the incident. After he was placed in a jail cell, Cox allegedly reared back his arm and struck a jailer in the shoulder.

Cox’s bond has been set at $21,000. He waived his preliminary hearing.

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