UI student strangled victim, stole earrings outside Art Building West, police say

In a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, police reported that the person of interest in a first-degree robbery on Monday strangled a female outside the building, rendering her unconscious and stealing her earrings before fleeing the scene.


Joseph Cress

A University of Iowa Police Department vehicle is pictured.

Rachel Schilke, Senior Print Editor

University of Iowa student Ali Younes, 18, is accused of strangling a female and stealing her earrings in a first-degree robbery outside of Art Building West on Monday, according to new details in a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. 

The complaint details that Younes and the victim were seen on video walking in opposite directions from each other on the Iowa Memorial Union footbridge. Younes then turned around and started following the victim toward Art Building West, the report stated.

UI police said Younes is facing charges of first-degree robbery and first-degree theft. Younes was also issued a criminal trespass warning for the UI campus, according to the police report.

Younes tackled the victim to the ground and began strangling her with both hands, rendering her unconscious, according to the report. While she was unconscious, Younes forcibly removed her earrings, valued at $20,000. Witnesses interrupted Younes while he was standing over the victim’s body.

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, the incident was originally classified as an assault with injury, but has changed since the investigation began.

The report says Younes told witnesses who saw the scene that the victim was walking and passed out. He said he was going to call the police and instead ran away.

Police served a search warrant at Younes’ girlfriend’s house and found him with the earrings. He told police he took the earrings “because he believed the victim was deceased,” the complaint said.

First-degree robbery is a class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. First-degree theft is a class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. 

Younes’ bond is set at $200,000. The victim was transported to UI Hospitals and Clinics for non-life-threatening injuries on Monday evening.