Iowa City woman charged with assault on healthcare providers

Rin Swann, News Reporter

An Iowa City woman has been charged with assault after creating a weapon and threatening health care providers with it at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. 

Kayla Johnston, 19, 409 Kirkwood Ave., was charged Feb. 26 with criminal mischief and two accounts of assault with a weapon on peace officers/others. 

According to the arrest affidavit, Johnston was a guest at the Behavioral Health Unit at UIHC. While there, Johnston punched a plastic hand dispenser and shattered it, creating an improvised weapon.

Johnston threatened two health care providers with the weapon, stating “I am going to kill you guys” and “I am going to kill myself,” the affidavit said. 

Two healthcare providers suffered lacerations on their forearms and hands from underhand slashes, the affidavit said. One pointed end of the makeshift weapon stabbed one provider while attempting to disarm Johnston, who was trying to cut her own arm. 

Johnston disclosed to a physician that she “punished them in order to hurt myself,” the affidavit said. Johnston admitted that the improvised weapon could have seriously injured either of the providers. 

Johnston also repeatedly threw a stool at the door in an attempt to leave the room, the affidavit said, which broke a leg off of the stool.

Assault with a weapon on peace officers or others is a Class-D felony.