Iowa star gets 2-year suspended sentence

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- A Johnson County District Court judge on Monday sentenced a local high school football standout to two years probation and 25 hours community service for the assault of five police officers.

Greg Coleman Jr. pleaded guilty to one charge of interference with official acts causing injury and assault on a peace officer causing bodily injuries, both aggravated misdemeanors.

Judge Stephen Gerard sentenced Coleman to 30 days in jail on the interference count with credit for time served. He was also given a $500 fine, which was suspended, and 25 hours of community service.

Gerard sentenced Coleman, 18, to two years in prison on the assault charge and suspended that sentence. He will serve two years supervised probation, be required to complete an anger management program, fined $500, also suspended, and was ordered to make restitution on both counts.

Assistant Johnson County Attorney Jo McCarty agreed to dismiss three other complaints.


Coleman's school suspended him for the first five games of next season's nine-game schedule.

Coleman's attorney, Randy Larson, said he believed the sentence was a fair resolution.

"Greg wanted to take responsibility for his terrible judgment that evening," Larson said. "He apologized to the officers almost immediately after the incident, both in writing and in person.... He now hopes to prove to everybody that he is a better person than the way he acted that night."

Larson said that in addition to the sentence, Coleman has met with school officials at Iowa City West and has taken full responsibility to everything he did that evening.

"Since this was a first offense for Greg at the school, according to the school's student activity conduct code, he will be suspended for five games of this fall's schedule"

The minimum suspension for a first offense is one-third of the season's contests, which would be three games.

Coleman had been charged with two counts of assault on a peace officer causing bodily injury and three counts of interference with official acts causing injury. Police had been responding to a report of a fight just after midnight June 5 when the chase began. Three police officers had to be treated for injuries at a hospital.

Larson also said he didn't think Coleman was trying to hurt anyone.


"He was just trying to run through people and unfortunately, he's awfully competent at that," Larson said.

Coleman, who just finished his junior year, has received scholarship offers from Iowa, Iowa State and Michigan. Last fall, he rushed for a school record 2,108 yards.

Larson said that Coleman has continued to be recruited by universities to play football, but he and his family have told everyone that he will put off any decisions until he completed the process of taking accountability for his actions. Larson said he does anticipate being offered scholarships from the same schools.

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