Marshalltown man assaults wife, and two children

A local man faces felony charges after allegedly assaulting his wife and stepson, and then holding a fork to his 7-year-old daughter’s neck when confronted by police.

Manuel S. Ochoa-Serna, 37, was arrested at about 7 a.m. Saturday, on the 800 block of West Boone Street after several people who witnessed an assault called 911.

Capt. Brian Batterson of the Marshalltown Police Department, said Ochoa-Serna was in an argument with his wife and refused to let her out of the house. She managed to run outside to the curb and he followed her out, then hit her across the face, Batterson said.

During the couple’s fight, Ochoa-Serna’s stepson got in the middle of the two and Ochoa-Serna threw him to the ground, Batterson said.

The boy tried calling 911 but Ochoa-Serna took his phone away.

When police arrived on scene, Ochoa-Serna ran into the house and refused to come out.

Officers forced themselves into the house by kicking the door, and once inside they heard a young girl screaming and crying. They found Ochoa-Serna using his daughter as a human shield holding a barbecue fork against her neck.

Officers were able to get the girl to safety, but Ochaoa-Serna fought with police until he was taken into custody.

The victims were taken to the hospital to be treated and checked. His stepson had bumps and scrapes on his body, his wife had an injury to her right eye and his daughter was uninjured.

Ochoa-Serna is charged with two counts of felony child endangerment, a Class D felony, two counts of aggravated assault, serious assault, false imprisonment, interference with official acts and obstruction with emergency communications.

Contact Stephanie Ivankovich at 641-753-6611 or