Semi driver attacked in rural Cerro Gordo County speaks out

"In 20 years of doing this, I never ever even dreamed of anything like this happening."

Posted: Apr 24, 2018 8:58 PM
Updated: Apr 25, 2018 6:48 PM

CERRO GORDO COUNTY, Iowa - A semi truck driver from Utah is lucky to be alive after he was nearly jumped early Tuesday morning.

Around 1:20 a.m., 51 year old Steven Butts was driving southbound on Interstate 35 when a vehicle flagged him down to pull over.

When Butts got out, two men that were in the vehicle told him to check the back of his semi. That's when they tried to attack him with a knife and kicked him in the abdomen, but Butts fought back.

The men got away, but not with the semi.

"In 20 years of doing this, I never ever even dreamed of anything like this happening," Butts says.

He's also noticed that incidents involving truckers are becoming more violent recently.

"Drivers are getting beat up and left in bathrooms and rest areas late at night. I won't stop at a rest area. I refuse to pull off at a rest area even in broad daylight," Butts adds.

Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals says in his 17 years of enforcing the law, this is a very odd case.

"This is highly unusual. Normally what it is is another vehicle pulling another vehicle over or waving them down, and then either they would rob them, but it's highly usual to say 'we're taking your truck'," Pals says.

Butts looks back on pulling over and sees it as a mistake, and has some advice for other drivers.

"Go to a well lit place. Go to some place that has people. Even though rest areas aren't real safe anymore, a rest area is better than the side of the road. At least at a rest area, there's other people where you can get help," Butts adds.

However, the incident is making him question whether he wants to continue truck driving at all.

"I don't really know if I want to keep driving anymore," Butts says.

The Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's office is looking for two Caucasian males, both around 20 years old, and driving in an older, possibly late 1980s, Chevrolet Suburban with no license plates. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's office at 641-421-3000.

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