Police: Iowa man jailed after using child as human shield to avoid arrest

State News

Lewis Butts (WHO 13)

A Des Moines man is in the Polk County Jail after police say he used a child as a human shield when officers tried to arrest him on outstanding warrants Wednesday night.

Police were attempting to take 31-year-old Lewis Butts into custody when the incident happened, according to Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department.

Officers received a tip on Butts’ location around 11:00 p.m. Wednesday. Police had previously been seeking him on outstanding warrants from a July 2020 incident involving his girlfriend. He’s accused of hitting, choking, biting, and threatening her with a knife.

The tip indicated Butts was at a residence in the 2800 block of SE 9th Court. Somehow, Butts became aware of the tip, and in an attempt to divert officers he called in a false tip reporting an incident on the north side of Des Moines.

Officers were able to confirm Butts was inside the home on SE 8th Court.

Police say Butts barricaded the door and refused to listen to officers’ orders to come out. Police forced their way into the home and confronted Butts, who then grabbed an 11-year-old child and held them in front of him to keep officers from arresting him.

Officers were able to convince to Butts to release the child, after which he was taken into custody.

Butts is facing charges of child endangerment and making a false report to law enforcement in connection with the incident. He was already facing two counts of domestic abuse, false imprisonment, and a parole violation for the previous incident involving his girlfriend.

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