text: third judicial court, image of gavel

Affidavit: Woman hit bicyclist with vehicle, punched victim in face 10-15 times over alleged affair

A woman who Spencer police say earlier this month hit a female bicyclist with her vehicle then got out and assaulted the victim did so over an alleged affair. A complaint and affidavit states Wendy Willard, 44, on Aug. 30 intentionally hit Jennifer Armstrong with her vehicle at the Fourth Avenue SW and 12th Street SW intersection in Spencer while Armstrong was riding her mountain bike to work. After reportedly hitting Armstrong with her vehicle, Willard then got out of her vehicle and punched Armstrong in the face 10 to 15 times, according to witnesses, the document states. The affidavit also states Willard accused Armstrong of having an affair with the father of her children. Willard accosted Armstrong during the assault, the document indicates.

Two Spencer police patrol cars

Spencer police investigating widespread vehicle burglaries

Spencer police since Sunday have been looking into a string of vehicle burglaries and are asking the public to take preventative measures. The first burglaries were reported to the Spencer Police Department on Sunday. Police Chief Mark Warburton said those occurred on the northwest side of town. “But since then, it’s completely all over Spencer right now,” Warburton said Tuesday afternoon. “Both east and west side.”

On Tuesday, the department stated in a Facebook post that more burglaries had been reported as having occurred overnight Monday and Tuesday.

police car lights

Police: Spencer woman intentionally struck bicyclist with vehicle, then assaulted her

A Spencer woman has been arrested for allegedly hitting a bicyclist intentionally with her vehicle and then assaulting her near Walmart on Aug. 30. On Wednesday, Spencer Police Chief Mark Warburton in a press release said police arrested and charged 44-year-old Wendy Willard in connection to the incident. Willard was booked into Clay County Jail. She faces charges of willful injury, a Class D felony; assault while participating in a felony, a Class D felony; assault with a dangerous weapon, an aggravated misdemeanor.

State of Iowa sheriff's badge

Deputies arrest Spencer man for going into street with a handgun, public intoxication

Authorities arrested a Spencer man Saturday afternoon at the Country Villa mobile home park after an investigation determined that he had gone into the street with a handgun while intoxicated following an exchange with a male next door. Dan Freeman, 56, was detained, according to a Clay County Sheriff’s Office news release, when Spencer Police Department officers first arrived on scene at 3655 240th Avenue, Lot 34. A Clay County Deputy arrived a short time later and authorities conducted the investigation. Freeman was arrested just after 2 p.m. and transported to the Clay County Jail. Freeman was charged with carrying weapons, an aggravated misdemeanor; and public intoxication, a simple misdemeanor.

U.S. District Attorney Office Northern District Iowa

Mexican man pleads guilty to meth conspiracy; distributed one pound per two weeks in Iowa

An Mexican man residing in Spencer illegally pleaded guilty in US District Court in Sioux City on Aug. 28 to a charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. A news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Iowa stated Jesus Jonathan Vazquez-Espinoza, 33, admitted in a plea agreement that he received about $10,000 worth of methamphetamine in March 2017 and that he continued to receive an average of one pound of meth every two weeks until he was arrested in April 2018. Vazquez-Espinoza arranged for meth to be delivered in the mail to different Iowa residences, according to the news release. Authorities seized more than two pounds of methamphetamine and $8,712 in cash when they arrested Vazquez-Espinoza.

Justin Michael Albright

Wanted Sioux City man arrested in Spencer; faces new drug, other charges

Authorities in Spencer apprehended a wanted Sioux City man fleeing law enforcement offers Thursday morning following a manhunt that lasted several hours. Spencer Police Chief Mark Warburton in a press release stated Justin Michael Albright was located and arrested at 9:45 a.m. in the 1200 block of West Seventh Street after a homeowner told a Clay County Sheriff’s Deputy that Albright had just fled from her garage at 1113 West Seventh Street. Law enforcement converged on the area, found Albright and took him into custody without further incident. Earlier Thursday morning, Police had asked for the public’s help in finding Albright. At that time, he had last been seen running north from the 200 block of 12th Avenue West in Spencer at 6:29 a.m.

Albright is wanted on a felony parole violation from Sioux City on a $20,000 bond, two Black Hawk County warrants from possession of prescription drugs and interference with official acts on a $2,325 bond.

Customers browse the fireworks for sale at a tent in the Spencer Walmart parking lot.

Police chief clears confusion about fireworks use in Spencer

Fireworks sales in Spencer are causing confusion about whether it’s legal to discharge fireworks in the city, Spencer Police Chief Mark Warburton told the city council at Monday’s meeting. Warburton reiterated that the use of first class consumer fireworks is illegal within the Spencer city limits even though it’s not illegal to sell or purchase those fireworks in town. “It’s very hard for the general public to get that,” Warburton told the council. “They perceive it to be legal because they see so many vendors.”

He said there are even more vendors in town this year than there were last year. The police department has been active in the media, both traditional and social, to make sure people know it’s illegal to use fireworks in town.