Iowa Senator Adrian Dickey arrested during RAGBRAI

Republican State Senator Adrian Dickey was arrested on July 24 and charged with interference with official acts after he refused to move along a Sac County road during the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI).

According to a complaint signed by Sgt. Jonathan Meyer of the Sac County Sheriff’s office, Dickey was among a large group of bicycle riders who “had stopped in the middle of the road” on Quincy Avenue. The complaint said after the group had been there for about an hour and a half, Meyer “advised a subject to move on as we needed to open the road.”

The individual refused to move and “advised me to arrest him,” Meyer wrote. The sergeant, who has specialized in traffic enforcement, then “advised him that the road way down the road was open and then could go that way.” But the subject (identified as Adrian Dickey) “kept arguing with me about what he was going to do.” The sergeant eventually arrested Dickey and took him to the Sac County jail, where he was charged with interference with official acts.

Sac County court records indicate that Dickey was released after posting a cash bond of $300.

Dickey could not immediately be reached for comment. This post will be updated if he responds to phone or email messages.

First elected to the Iowa Senate in a January 2021 special election, Dickey was re-elected to a full four-year term last year in Senate district 44, covering a large area in southeast Iowa. He introduced a bill in 2022 that sought to prohibit law enforcement officers from interfering “with the operation of a business establishment or nonprofit organization […] during an annual recreational bicycle ride across the state.”

Former Democratic State Senator Joe Bolkcom served on the subcommittee that considered Dickey’s bill in February 2022. During a July 26 telephone interview, Bolkcom told Bleeding Heartland that Dickey had longstanding concerns about how the Iowa State Patrol occasionally instructed businesses to stop serving customers in order to keep riders moving during RAGBRAI. He recalled that when Dickey spoke to the subcommittee, he argued that the state patrol lacks the authority to close businesses, and such closures affected many RAGBRAI riders.

The incident on July 24 did not involve the Iowa State Patrol and does not appear to have involved any business operating in the road where riders were congregating.

The subcommittee did not advance Dickey’s bill last year. No entities registered in favor of the measure; four organizations representing law enforcement registered against it. Bolkcom said senators held at least one follow-up meeting with representatives of the Iowa State Patrol to discuss their approach to maintaining safety during RAGBRAI.

UPDATE: Dickey told Dave Price via email, “I am absolutely innocent of the single charge filed against me.”

Stephen Gruber-Miller reported for the Des Moines Register,

Dickey’s attorney, Matt Schultz, said Dickey was not part of the group that was blocking the road.

“Sen. Dickey was riding in RAGBRAI earlier this week. He and his team took an alternate route that led them to a place where several hundred people were blocking a road,” Schultz said in a statement. “Sen. Dickey and his team were trying to get through the party of people and onto the bike trail, when a misunderstanding occurred between the senator and a sheriff’s deputy. Sen. Dickey is innocent and believes that the evidence will show that he was not part of the party blocking the road.”

SECOND UPDATE: The Sac County sheriff’s office issued the following news release.

For Immediate Release

P.O.C. Sheriff Ken McClure

Date: July 27, 2023

SAC COUNTY, IOWA: Monday July 24, 2023, at 2:42PM, a Sac County Deputy Sheriff radioed out with a group of RAGBAI riders in the 3600 mile of Quincy Ave. at the railroad trestle. It is estimated that there were over 200 riders present. This area is where the Sauk Rail Trail meets Quincy Ave. Additional deputy sheriffs responded to the area. For approximately 80 minutes, deputies attempted to get voluntary compliance from the riders to clear the roadway.

A deputy sheriff contacted 49-year-old Adrian Dickey of Packwood, Iowa. During this encounter, it is alleged that Mr. Dickey refused to comply with the deputy’s instructions. The deputy sheriff placed Mr. Dickey under arrest for interference with official acts. Mr. Dickey was transported to the Sac County Jail where he was able to post bond.

All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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  • A Dave Nagle Moment

    Years ago, Dave Nagle was in position to run for Senate. However, while attending a WWE event, he got on the wrong side of the police in the arena, and he was arrested.

    We said at the time, “How awful do you have to behave to get arrested at a WWE event?” The answer is something way off the charts.

    Ragbrai has been going on for a long time. Every year it is a crazy, fun, drunk party across Iowa. Cops are great at keeping any enforcement light. Like a WWE event, they don’t want to make arrests. The Sac County deputies know what’s going on. They only ask for the people to move on when it is time. They gave them 90 minutes. They asked politely!

    How awful do you have to be to a deputy sheriff to get arrested at Ragbrai? Incredibly bad. It ended Nagle’s comeback. For Republicans, this seems like just a normal day. How is that possible?