On July 20, 2016, at 1:53 p.m., the Iowa City Police Department (ICPD) responded to First American Bank, located at 640 Highway 1 West in Iowa City, for a report of an armed robbery.  While officers were checking the area for the armed suspect, they interacted with a man in Benton Hill Park who fit the original description of the robber police received from dispatch.  

This interaction has generated extensive media coverage. In order to make the community aware of the manner in which this interaction occurred, the Iowa City Police Department has released the video from two body worn cameras used during the incident.  Below are links to the videos and a detailed account of the interaction.

The following times and information are based on records from the Johnson County Emergency Communications Center (JECC). The times shown in parenthesis are from body worn camera video, which does not match timekeeping records provided by the communications center.

  • At 1:53 p.m., the Iowa City Police Department was dispatched to First American Bank, located at 640 Highway 1 West in Iowa City, for a report of an armed robbery. The suspect, who was still in the building, was armed with a gun.
  • At 1:56 p.m., officers arrived at the bank where contact was made with the victims and witnesses of the robbery.  At this time, the initial description of the suspect was obtained. The suspect was described by witnesses and victims as being a black male, dressed in black shorts, with a black covering over his face. The witnesses and victims further reported that the suspect displayed a handgun during the robbery.
  • At 2 p.m., this suspect’s description was relayed over the radio along with information that the suspect was last seen on foot travelling northbound out the back door of the bank.
  • At 2:03 p.m. (video time: 1:55 p.m.), a man matching the general description of the suspect was observed near Benton Hill Park, which is located on West Benton Street approximately a quarter mile north of the First American Bank location.  Contact was made with the man, who was later identified as Mr. Faith Ekakitie, by two uniformed Iowa City Police Officers and one uniformed Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy.   In addition, two plain clothes Iowa City Police Department Investigators and one uniformed University of Iowa Police Officer and his K-9 responded.  As contact was made with Mr. Ekakitie, it was immediately noticed that he was wearing headphones and might not be able to hear the officers’ instructions.  Within two minutes of the initial contact, officers determined that Mr. Ekakitie was not the suspect. Officers then explained why they had detained him. After routine checks to verify Mr. Ekakitie’s identify were completed, officers left the park.
  • At 2:11 p.m. (video time: 2:01 p.m.), the six minute interaction with Mr. Ekakitie was concluded, officers thanked him for his cooperation and he was released.

The Iowa City Police Department would like to thank Mr. Ekakitie for his understanding and cooperation as the police department was responding to a dangerous armed robbery. 

The robbery remains under investigation by the ICPD investigation unit. The Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers continues to offer a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect(s). Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact CrimeStoppers at 358-TIPS (8477) or at www.iccrimestoppers.org.  All contacts are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed. Individuals providing information do not have to reveal their identity to collect a reward.

* During the shorter video, a segment is muted to protect Mr. Ekakitie’s personal identification information. 

Video via YouTube: 

Video via Dropbox: 

 

Date of publication

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

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