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Owner of Linn County bar faces assault charges

An argument over bringing a dog into an Iowa bar has led to criminal charges being filed against the bar's owner. The incident happened recently in Lisbon, Iowa. It began when a man entered the bar with a dog with what he allegedly claimed was a service dog. The bar owner demanded proof. According to Linn County prosecutors, a physical altercation ensued in which the bar owner allegedly pushed the man's chest and grabbed his throat.

As is often the case in bar fights, there appears to be another side to the story. The bar owner's attorney says it was the customer who assaulted the bar owner. He says the dispute had nothing to do with the dog, but that the customer was acting in a belligerent manner and the bar owner was attempting to escort him off the premises when the patron threatened the owner and assaulted him.

In Iowa, assault is defined in a number of ways. It includes any act that is intended to cause injury or pain to another person, or put them in immediate fear of physical contact that will cause injury or pain. Depending on the circumstances and whether the use of a weapon was involved, assault can be charged as a misdemeanor, an aggravated misdemeanor or a felony in Iowa.

A person charged with assault can fight the charges in court. In many cases, police make an arrest without knowing all the facts. In some cases, the alleged assault is justified by self-defense. A thorough defense strategy will include contacting all potential witnesses and demonstrating reasonable doubt.

Source:, "Lisbon bar owner charged with assault," Larry Burkum, July 17, 2015

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