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Sat, Oct. 19

Officials decline to ID officers allegedly involved in bar fight

A Dec. 22 fight allegedly involving Prescott-area police officers has triggered a flow of information that local officials in large part decline to address.

Repeated requests to local law enforcement agencies to determine if high-ranking officers with the Prescott Valley Police Department and Yavapai County Sheriff's Office were involved in an alleged assault at the bar went unanswered Friday.

A 23-year-old Glendale man was injured in the incident and reported it to police while at the hospital.

As soon as the incident came to light earlier this week, Prescott Police Chief Mike Kabbel, who is retiring Jan. 1, said he turned the investigation over to the Department of Public Safety.

"As a practice we never comment on the specifics of a case we are investigating," said Bart Graves, DPS spokesman early Friday morning. "We will not be commenting until the investigation has been concluded."

A Friday afternoon television broadcast segment out of Phoenix named three high-ranking local officers who had been involved in the fight, which allegedly took place as a motorcycle club made up of current and former police officers from around the state had a party at the bar.

One of the officers named was Prescott's Deputy Police Chief Andy Reinhardt, who is due to step in for Kabbel as interim chief next week.

Early Friday evening, after the television report aired, Graves told The Daily Courier, "Chief Reinhardt was not in the bar at the time of the incident."

YCSO Spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn and Prescott Valley Police Sgt. Brandon Bonney said they could not confirm names and that all questions about the investigation are being referred to the Department of Public Safety.

While Prescott Valley Town Manager Larry Tarkowski also would not confirm any names, he said, "The Department of Public Safety investigation includes two Prescott Valley sworn police officers."

The Iron Brotherhood Motorcycle Club is made up of active and retired law enforcement officers who own American-made motorcycles, according to the group's website.

This motorcycle club has had their annual Christmas party at that bar for the past few years, and about 20 individuals attended the party, Tarkowski said.

When the bar owner was called, he declined to comment on the incident.

When asked if there was video of the incident that DPS was looking at, Graves again said, "I am not commenting on this investigation until it's over."

"I can't say because I don't know," Tarkowski said about whether there was video of the incident. "I had been informed there are video cameras inside the bar. If that is the case, then I can assure you that the Department of Public Safety would use that information in its investigation."

After receiving results of the DPS criminal investigation, Tarkowski said another internal process will also "try to determine if there was any infraction or violation of administrative policies" and any consequences.

Once the DPS report is complete, "It should be abundantly clear if there is a violation of law or not by individuals at that saloon that evening," Tarkowski said.

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