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home : latest news : local February 6, 2016

3/12/2013 8:39:00 AM
Two top Yavapai County Sheriff's Deputies resign
Schmidt, Suttle reportedly were present during December 'Iron Brotherhood' bar fight

Scott Orr
Special to the Tribune

PRESCOTT - Two high-ranking members of the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, both of whom were members of a law enforcement motorcycle club and were reportedly present at a December fight in a Prescott bar, have resigned from the department, a YCSO spokesman confirmed Monday.

Sgt. Bill Suttle, the former Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking unit commander, and Capt. Marc Schmidt, a member of the sheriff's executive staff, resigned Monday, YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said.

D'Evelyn said he could not say why either man resigned. Sheriff Scott Mascher is out of town, he said, and they gave their notice to Chief Deputy John Russell on Monday morning. D'Evelyn said they "submitted applications for voluntary resignations with intent to apply for retirement."

Suttle was placed on paid administrative leave in February while other agencies investigated his role in a Dec. 22 bar fight at Moctezuma's, in which members of the Iron Brotherhood are accused of assaulting a civilian, who was injured in the incident. Suttle was replaced as commander of PANT by YCSO Lt. Dan Raiss.

A Prescott police report said Suttle told investigating officers that Prescott Deputy Police Chief Andy Reinhardt was in the bar at the time, "but I want him left out of this."

"We knew you guys were going to show up," Suttle said, according to the report. "They told me you were coming, so I told Andy to go home."

Suttle also told the man who allegedly began the scuffle to go to the club's hotel. He identified the man only as "Top Gun," the report said, and denied knowing Top Gun's real name.

Schmidt joined YCSO in 1988 as a detentions officer. He was promoted to captain in 2012, had supervised field operations, worked in the forest patrol, and the special weapons and tactical team.

Schmidt is mentioned in the police report as being a member of the Iron Brotherhood, and the officer writing the report said he saw Schmidt briefly at the bar but didn't get a chance to talk with him. It's unclear what, if any, role he may have played in the incident.

Schmidt and Suttle were among the highest-paid personnel at YCSO. Suttle's salary was just under $70,000; Schmidt's was $78,000.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety and Coconino County Sheriff's Office are separately investigating the incident, and D'Evelyn said those reports are not yet completed.

A spokesman for DPS has told The Daily Courier that agency's report may be complete by the end of March.

Related Stories:
• Town of Prescott Valley might use outside firm to select new police chief
• Prescott Valley Police Chief Fessler retires
• Raiss replaces Suttle as Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking commander
• Prescott city officials decry officer emulation of 'outlaw images'
• YCSO's Suttle put on paid administrative leave

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, March 18, 2013
Article comment by: Lucy Greeneich

Does anyone remember the deputy whose picture was plastered all over the TV and newspapers accused of spanking his girlfriend's daughter wearing an orange jumpsuit? And did anyone report that this same deputy was cleared of all charges? NOT Maybe is he had been a member of Iron Brotherhood he would have been allowed to resign or even retire with full benefits. Now we hear about the PVPD officer fixing his wife's tickets, interesting!

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: flaco comir

Another Opinion -

Sometimes it's not the crime...It's the cover-up.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: Another Opinion

To Our Prescott Valley Officers:

I would like to apologize for the many uninformed, ignorant comments about the situation at Moctezuma's.

Apparently these uninformed people don't need to look at facts to form opinions.

Repeatedly I have directed them to seconds 32-35 of the surveillance tape to observe that the incident was instigated by an assault on an officer by a drunken young man named Justin. The video is crystal clear.

They insist upon promoting a false story, that the incident was instigated by an officer.

What can I say? People seem to love to create drama where there is little. Too bad facts don't matter to them.

BTW, I am not affiliated with LE in any way. Not by friendship, relations, marriage or even neighbors.

I simply appreciate you, your difficult jobs, the many years you have devoted to our safety. I don't consider you to be "perfect people", and nobody, even our law enforcement should be held to unrealistic standards.

It would be great to have some "I support our local Police Force" bumper stickers made. I would buy one and proudly display it. I think the vast majority of our population would as well.

God bless.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: MJ Johnson

It sounds like the town of Prescott Valley and the Tribune are hiding their heads in the sand hoping this will just go away. Prescott Valley officers WERE involved in this embarrassing bar brawl and why are they not being mentioned and disciplined? It just sounds really dirty to me.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: flaco comir

When cops name themselves monikers like "Top Gun" you have to question the maturity level of these wanabees! Top Gun? Really? Presscott must really rocks man! It's like Compton yo!

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: RE:Another Lier

Take your blinders off. These gang bangers were officers and are supposed to keep their anger in check. The video CLEARLY shows the officers instigating and throwing punches at whoever tried to step in and stop the fight. And any man who pushes on a woman ie.. the bartender is a disgrace and especially an officer is a very poor excuse of a man!

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: To another opinion !

You are obviously a part of a LEO organization. Your interpretation of the video has very little credibility. Makes one wonder about your own ability to protect the public.

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Another Opinion

Suttle lied about some of the facts that occurred to protect others from unfair scrutiny. He probably knew 911 was called. He has now decided to resign and that is his choice. Maybe the other officer was present as well and resigned to avoid the controversy.

Seconds 32-35 of the vidoe clearly shows that Justin instigated the fight with his friends following close behind. An officer was attacked and other officers pushed them away and a few punches were thrown. A bar employee grabbed an officer from behind and the officer reacted in a defensive manner not knowing if it was another of Justin's group continuing the attack. No punch was thrown once the officer realized the employee was not grabbing and pulling him to attack him.

Justin ALSO lied when he said he did nothing to instigate the fight. The video clearly shows him rising from a sitting position to attack an off duty officer.

Justin should be charged with assault if this situation is dealt with fairly.

It saddens me that media and some in the public have not looked at the situation in an unbiased manner. It saddens me that the paper would print a still photo that clearly makes it look like an officer was the instigator.

This article is much more fair than many of the others. Thank you Tribune.

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