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Pickup crashes through wall of National Cattle Congress venue

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WATERLOO — A 28-year-old man badly damaged a bathroom at a National Cattle Congress venue early Sunday when his pickup truck crashed through the wall.

Waterloo Police said the vehicle driven by Leonardo Ruiz Mendez, of 320 Courtland St., hit the side of the Pepsi Pavilion. It broke through the corrugated metal wall and partially ended up in the women’s bathroom, knocking a counter with four sinks off the wall. No one was in the bathroom when the crash occurred.

Officers were called to the scene, 257 Ansborough Ave., at 1:35 a.m. Mendez refused a field sobriety test, police said, but they determined him to be intoxicated. He was arrested for first offense operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

The Cattle Congress patched the exterior of the building Sunday morning, but the interior of the bathroom remained a mess. Officials were waiting to get estimates on the cost of repairing the damage. Karen Coffin, who manages the Pepsi Pavilion and Electric Park Ballroom, said some upcoming events will not be able to be held at the pavilion with the bathroom out of commission.

When officers arrived at the Cattle Congress grounds for the incident, they saw a fight in progress nearby. According to police, several people were trying to restrain a woman later identified as Jennifer Marylyn Ramirez, 26, of 1032 Lincoln St.

Residents evacuated a Cedar Falls, Iowa, apartment building after a fire broke out Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.

Ramirez allegedly punched someone in the face, cutting the person, and spit on someone else. Police arrested her and when they were putting her in the squad car, she allegedly spit on one of the officers.

She was charged with simple assault, assault causing bodily injury, assault of a police officer without causing injury and public intoxication.


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Education Reporter

I cover local schools and higher education for The Courier, where I’ve been a reporter for the past two decades. I’m a Minnesota native and have previously worked for newspapers there and in Illinois.

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