A man from Bowling Green, Missouri was arrested Wednesday night in the Ped Mall after allegedly pulling out a loaded gun magazine while being kicked out by bar staff, according to the Iowa City Police Department.
Police were called to the Ped Mall shortly after 10 p.m. after receiving a report about a man with a gun. Upon arrival, police say they saw bar staff holding down Jason Babson, 36, as a gun lay on the ground nearby.
Bar staff told police that they attempted to throw Babson out of the bar early in the night for being intoxicated and making homophobic remarks, prompting him to pull out a loaded magazine while at the bar. Staff say that while they were kicking him out, Babson reached for the front of his pants, leading to a scuffle in the Ped Mall. According to the police report, staff alleged that a gun was taken away from Babson during the altercation.
Jared Krauss, a Little Village staffer who was on the scene at the time, says the incident began at the bar DC’s before spilling out into the Ped Mall. He says an unknown individual held Babson down, removed what appeared to be a weapon from him and set it aside, pinning Babson until police arrived. After police arrived, Krauss overheard the individual say, “U.S. Army don’t fuck around.” He says the individual who pinned Babson received a round of applause upon returning to DC’s.
“The [defendant] was very intoxicated while he was carrying a gun,” the police report states. “A loaded magazine was located in the [defendant’s] pocket.”
Little Village has reached out to the Iowa City Police Department for more information about the make and model of the firearm, but has not heard back at this time.
Police arrested Babson for going armed with a dangerous weapon concealed on or about the person, an aggravated misdemeanor.
Update (1:57 p.m.): In an email to Little Village, Iowa City Police Chief Sam Hargadine stated that the weapon Babson allegedly carried was a pistol. Hargadine confirmed that the incident began at DC’s bar.