Breaking: Grad student from Hong Kong charged with punching 78-year-old female pro-life protester

Officers say the 30-year-old student from Hong Kong admitted the attack but thought opposing abortion was “strange.”
Thu Aug 22, 2013 - 1:40 pm EST

IOWA CITY, IA, August 22, 2013 ( – Police have charged a foreign graduate student with punching a 78-year-old woman holding a pro-life sign in Iowa City.

The incident took place just after 9 a.m. yesterday at the corner of Riverside Drive and Highway 1.

Police say the man, 30-year-old Man Chun John Ma, struck the elderly woman in the back. Her husband confronted the man, while she nursed arm and shoulder pain, according to a local report.


Officers say Ma admitted the attack and said he had acted wrongly, but he thought opposing abortion was “strange.”

Authorities charged Ma with assault causing bodily injury. He was reportedly released from Johnson County Jail that evening.

The man, who hails from Hong Kong, is a graduate student in the University of Iowa's Carver College of Medicine's pharmacology program and enrolled in its interdisciplinary graduate program in genetics.

A similar incident took place in Iowa City last August 8 just down the road, at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Highway 6. William Carl Kapp, 26, grabbed a graphic pro-life sign from a 77-year-old woman and destroyed it, saying the image of an aborted baby was “horrific” and “obscene.”



Pharmacology Chair and Department Executive Officer Nitin Karandikar, MD, PhD
Department Phone: (319) 384-9609

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