A bar fight at Moctezuma's on Saturday, December 22 is now being investigated by the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Why? Because it involved a motorcycle club called the Iron Brotherhood Nation, which is made up of off-duty law-enforcement agents.
When the dust settled, a 23-year-old visitor from Glendale was sent to the hospital with a broken nose. But no arrests were made.
Instead, retiring Police Chief Mike Kabbel, in order to avoid any conflict of interest, turned the case over to DPS for investigation.
What we know:
- The December 22 incident, in which a bar patron was allegedly assaulted and injured to the point of being sent to the hospital by off-duty law enforcement personnel occurred at Moctezuma's.
- The off-duty law enforcement officers were part of a Motorcycle Club called the Iron Brotherhood Nation.
- The Arizona Whiskey Row Chapter of the Iron Brotherhood Nation had planned an Arizona Christmas Party on December 22, for some time before the event, according to their website.
- Some of the people involved in the incident were Prescott Valley police officers, according to the Phoenix New Times. "Commander Art Askew of the Prescott Valley Police Department tells New Times this morning that while it's true that officers from his agency were at the bar, "this was not solely a Prescott Valley police 'incident.'"
- KFYI is reporting that DPS spokesman Bart Graves, "...said Thursday that officers from several agencies across the state may be subjects of the investigation."
- Parking on Whiskey Row was barricaded for members of the Iron Brotherhood.
What we don't know:
- Which local law enforcement agencies and officers were involved? They have admitted that Prescott Valley officers were involved. But, what about Prescott, or Yavapai County Sheriff's officers? Were agencies from other counties involved?
- What caused the fight?
- Was there a 911 call made?
- How was the assault victim transported to YRMC? If by ambulance, who made the call? Were Prescott Fire Department personnel also called out?
- Why were no arrests made, and no charges filed? They would have been in any other circumstances.
- Who is being protected? Why the coverup and stonewalling? Why did it take 5 days for the police to send out a press release?
- Why is the police report being held back and not with other police reports?
- Who authorized the barricading of the parking spots? Were proper procedures followed?
Three Department of Public Safety officers, who declined to be interviewed or photographed, were at Moctezuma's on Thursday afternoon, taking photos and investigating. They said they did not know how long the investigation would take.
No charges have been filed yet, even though it is termed an "assault" in the Press Release sent out by the Prescott Police Department. See: Off-Duty Police Officers Investigated By DPS for Assault in Prescott
Local law enforcement agencies are not responding to any requests for information, simply referring all such questions to DPS.
In the meantime, one can only speculate on how many lawsuits this incident will spawn.
Various News Reports:
KYCA, Don Steele (audio): Off Duty Cops Who Are Members Of The "Iron Brotherhood" Motorcycle Club Involved In Altercation In Whiskey Row Bar Saturday [ 2:14 ] (if this link does not work, go to http://www.kyca.info)
KFYI News Talk:DPS Probing Prescott Assault Involving Officers
Houston Chronicle:DPS probing Prescott assault involving officers
Arizona Daily Star:DPS probing fight involving police officers