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UI high jumper charged in champagne-bottle attack

[ 7 ] February 22, 2011 |
Graham Charles Valdes, 22, a UI high jumper, was arrested Saturday morning after police say he hit another man over the head with a champagne bottle.

Graham Charles Valdes, 22, a UI high jumper, was arrested Saturday morning after police say he hit another man over the head with a champagne bottle.

A member of Iowa’s track and field team has been charged with assault causing bodily injury after police allege he struck another man over the head with a champagne bottle at a downtown Iowa City liquor store.

The charge against Graham C. Valdes, 22, of 711 Melrose Ave., is a serious misdemeanor. Valdes, a senior from Moline, Ill., placed sixth at the Big 10 Championships last year and is tied for seventh for highest all-time jump at Iowa.

Valdes has been released from the Johnson County Jail, and he declined comment Tuesday.

Track and field coach Larry Wieczorek did not immediately return a call Tuesday seeking comment.

According to police reports, officers were called to Sauce, a liquor store at 108 E. College St., at 1:53 a.m. Feb. 19 for a report of a man hit with a bottle. When officers arrived, they found the victim of the attack bleeding profusely from the top of his head and a shattered champagne bottle at his feet.

Police said the man, who is not identified, had a large cut on the top of his head and nose that required stitches.

The man told police a tall, redheaded man hit him with a bottle as he was trying to exit the store after his friend had urinated in the store, police said.

Police said the suspect, later identified as Valdes, was still on the scene when officers arrived.

Valdes allegedly told officers he hit the man with a champagne bottle because the man was pushing past people to leave the store and Valdes felt threatened.

Multiple witnesses saw Valdes hit the man with the bottle, police said.

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