Steve McFadden, Des Moines bar owner accused of stalking, arrested again
Bar owner Steve McFadden was arrested Friday for violating a no-contact order involving an ex-girlfriend he was accused of stalking.
McFadden, 53, was scheduled to plead not guilty Thursday in Polk County District Court to one count of stalking, an aggravated misdemeanor, and five counts of unauthorized use of a GPS tracking device, all serious misdemeanors. But the hearing was continued because the judge had not had time to read through the trial information filed that morning.
The charges stem from his January arrest after Ankeny police said McFadden tracked the ex-girlfriend using a global positioning device planted in her car.
McFadden, an owner in Tipsy Crow, Grumpy Goat and Dough Mama’s Pizzeria, also is alleged to have conspired with Edwin Allen III, owner of Zora Bar & Rooftop on Ingersoll Avenue, to track the woman to Paws and Pints, a Des Moines bar and dog park.
Allen pleaded not guilty Thursday and has declined to comment on the case. McFadden’s lawyer, William Kutmus, said Thursday his client would plead not guilty.
Both men have been at the center of public controversy since their arrests.
McFadden was convicted last year of assault causing injury involving another ex-girlfriend, Victoria Davis, who was 22 when she began dating him and now is 26. In early 2022, he took what’s called an Alford plea, admitting no guilt but acknowledging there was enough evidence to convict him at trial. The count was a misdemeanor, and he was ordered to serve a year on probation. After completing a six-week domestic abuse program, he was released from probation and, under a deferred judgment, the conviction was removed from his record.
More:Woman allegedly beaten by bar owner describes going back to him, says it was a mistake
Since that time, Davis has sought to lift a restraining order McFadden obtained against her last year. She alleges he’s trying to manipulate and control her through the legal system.
The two are scheduled to go to trial March 28 for allegedly violating the restraining order. In an interview last month, Davis described to Watchdog domestic violence she said she suffered in her relationship with McFadden. She also gave an account of another assault she said took place Jan. 1 in Key West, Florida, where McFadden had convinced her to go with him despite the restraining order. They were arrested on their return to Des Moines.
The IRS also is seeking to recover what it said are unpaid taxes from McFadden. It currently has two federal tax liens worth almost $520,000 against his home in West Des Moines, county records show. The home, which had been for sale with a multi-million-dollar price tag, now is off the market.
Lee Rood’s Reader’s Watchdog column helps Iowans get answers and accountability from public officials, the justice system, businesses and nonprofits. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, at 515-284-8549, on Twitter at @leerood or on Facebook at Facebook.com/readerswatchdog.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Steve McFadden, Des Moines bar owner accused of stalking, arrested again