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1/20/2013 12:09:00 PM
Prescott PD releases some details on alleged bar fight involving police motorcycle club
An undated photo shows Iron Brotherhood Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club Whiskey Row Chapter members.
Courtesy photo
An undated photo shows Iron Brotherhood Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club Whiskey Row Chapter members.
Courtesy photo
Moctezuma's on Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott was the scene of a fight allegedly involving off-duty police officers Dec. 22, 2012.
Felicia Fonseca/The Associated Press
Moctezuma's on Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott was the scene of a fight allegedly involving off-duty police officers Dec. 22, 2012.
Felicia Fonseca/The Associated Press
Bar fight victim claims biker punched him after he asked what motorcycle he rode
By FELICIA FONSECA

The Associated Press



The victim in a Whiskey Row bar fight on Dec. 22 acknowledged he was drunk when he started a conversation with a biker wearing a black leather motorcycle jacket with a patch that said "president" on the front.

Justin Stafford, 23, who was at the bar with a friend, said he asked what kinds of motorcycles the man and his buddies rode, at which point the biker grabbed him by the throat and pushed him toward the bar. Stafford said he looked back to make sure he wasn't going to fall and, when he turned around again, someone punched him in the nose.

"Apparently one of them didn't like the fact that I was talking to them, or something like that," said Stafford, who grew up in Chino Valley and now lives in Colorado.

Stafford said his friend didn't see who hit him and immediately whisked him out of the bar and took him to a hospital to treat his bloodied and swollen nose.

Stafford has been interviewed by authorities but didn't learn until last week that police officers could have been involved.

"I never saw the guy who did it," Stafford said. "I couldn't even begin to tell you what he looks like."

That wouldn't stop the investigation, Arizona Department of Public Safety Spokesman Bart Graves said.

"We have a lot of witnesses - people at the bar at the time - that saw everything," Graves said.

Graves wouldn't say which officers, if any, were directly involved in the fight.

A full report should be ready in 30 to 45 days and will be turned over to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, he said.

"We're very thorough; we take our time - we're never in a rush," Graves said.

Lisa Irish
Special to the Tribune

Incident reports from the Prescott Police Department paint a picture of an unruly scene inside a Whiskey Row bar where a fight allegedly occurred Dec. 22, 2012, between members of a police motorcycle club and a bar patron.

The reports were released Thursday evening by the Arizona Department of Public Safety to The Daily Courier as part of a public records request.

The Iron Brotherhood Motorcycle Club is a men's group made up of active and retired law enforcement officers from Prescott and Prescott Valley police departments, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, DPS and other law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

Witnesses told police that after Iron Brotherhood Motorcycle Club members entered Moctezuma's Bar on Dec. 22, some members fought with a bar patron, then swung at bar employees trying to break it up.

One witness told investigating officers she jumped behind the bar because men wearing black vests "were coming up to the bar" and "everybody was swinging at everybody."

Another witness said "he did not know what to do, because he knew the group of bikers to be police officers," according to PPD reports.

Earlier that evening, about 20 Iron Brotherhood members wearing black vests displaying their club's name held a party with wives and girlfriends in a back room at Hooligan's Pub.

Witnesses told officers "they were a rowdy group," the bar "cut off about 90 percent of them from alcohol by the time the party ended," and "the whole group was acting like some outlaw motorcycle gang," the police reports state.

A bar employee, needing to get past a woman in the bar, said when he put his hand on her to get her attention and ask her to move, a man identified as an Iron Brotherhood member yelled at him and "got in his face," according to the reports.

One witness told investigating officers he didn't feel police officers should act that way, noting that previous encounters with Iron Brotherhood were usually polite and pleasant.

After leaving Hooligan's, some Iron Brotherhood members wearing their vests flashed badges and "tried to bully their way inside Matt's Saloon," which has a "no colors" (gang-related clothes) policy, but failed, according to police reports.

Several Iron Brotherhood members went on to Moctezuma's, which also has a "no colors" policy, but the members showed bar security their badges and were let in with their motorcycle club vests on.

At 10:59 p.m., a Prescott Police officer went to Yavapai Regional Medical Center west campus and spoke with an injured man - Justin Stafford, 23 - who said he was punched by bikers earlier that night at Moctezuma's, according to the report. Stafford said the bikers wore black vests with patches on them reading "Iron something."

Much of Stafford's statement, as well as that of his friend, concerning what happened was redacted from the report, including how many times Stafford was punched and who punched him.

Names of all witnesses, victims, Iron Brotherhood members, and large portions of their statements were removed from PPD reports released to the Courier.

When the investigating officers arrived at Hooligan's, one saw several policemen he knew wearing Iron Brotherhood vests. The investigating officers were approached by a man in a black vest who showed a badge and asked what was going on, the report states. The officer told the man flashing the badge they were investigating an incident at Moctezuma's, at which point the man pulled both officers to the emergency exit.

Soon after, the officers called a sergeant saying the people they spoke with did not appear to provide them with all the information they knew. While waiting for the sergeant to arrive, an Iron Brotherhood member whose name was redacted said, "We knew you guys were going to show up. They told me you were coming, so I told (name redacted) to go home," according to the police report.

The officers returned to Moctezuma's to view surveillance videos of the fight, then placed them into evidence. Police reports were so heavily redacted it's not clear what the officers saw in the footage.

No one from the Iron Brotherhood returned an officer's request to provide the legal name of the man involved in the assault by the next day, according to a police report turned in on Dec. 23.

On Monday, Dec. 24, a Prescott Police detective was told by command staff that officers may have been involved in an assault at Moctezuma's two days earlier and asked detectives to obtain more video from the three bars, which was placed into evidence, according to police reports.

After the PPD's initial investigation, Prescott Police Chief Mike Kabbel, who has since retired, requested that the DPS Special Investigations Unit take over the case to avoid any perceived conflicts of interest.

DPS spokesman Bart Graves said Friday morning the agency's investigation into the incident should be completed in 30 to 45 days and surveillance videos will be released at that time.

The Daily Courier is continuing its efforts to obtain the video as well as unredacted reports.

Related Stories:
• YCSO's Suttle put on paid administrative leave
• Video shows off-duty police officers brawling with bar customers, employees
• Video: Whiskey Row bar fight involving police officers
• Un-redacted reports shed light on Whiskey Row bar fight
• Prescott Valley police chief goes on record about bar fight allegations


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Article comment by: Fernando Timms

So much corruption going on here and no doubt this will all go away, but we all now know who we are dealing with every time we get pulled over. Seems like we have 2 kinds of police, those who are corrupt and those who know about it and do nothing, not sure which is worse but both are the worse kind of criminal.

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Article comment by: Tiffany Tee

keepin it real ... CLEARLY, YOU ARE COMPLETELY MIS INFORMED. HOW DARE YOU EVEN SPEAK TO SOMETHING THAT YOU OBVIOUSLY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT? DO YOU THINK THAT FOR ONE SECOND IF AN ACTUAL SUPPOSED 'OMC' DID ANYTHING REMOTELY CLOSE TO THIS THAT THEY WOULDN’T BE IN JAIL RIGHT NOW??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THOSE COPS THINK THEY CAN GO AROUND, FLASHING THEIR BADGES AND DO WHATEVER THEY WANT REGARDLESS IF THEY ARE BREAKING THE LAW OR NOT...RIDICULOUS.

Riding a motorcycle is freedom. It is peace. Riding with your friends enhances the experience. That’s what ‘clubs’ are about. It isn’t the 1980s anymore. Move on. The supposed ‘outlaw’ clubs are now staffed by Professionals, Husbands, Fathers and community leaders. They love to ride motorcycles and do it in an impressive fashion. Nothing more. Cops shouldn’t be using their ‘badges’ to beat up the public. EVER. I don’t care if you are on duty or off duty. Beating people is not NOT OK! Surprise, Shocker.


Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Article comment by: m m

RE Keeping it real, you were probably one of the wild hog rejects. If law enforcment didnt give the public a tool, as you say. Well then they wouldnt have one. The law enforcers are also titled as peace keepers, I guess they forgot about thet one. Duh..................

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: What Fight

What fight? I think all these wanna be bike gang members are hoping since they are police officers it is going to go away. After all they are above any law a citizen would have to follow. I havent seen anyone being fired or dismissed from the town of PV. Where is the town council now? Why are they not stepping up to protect the reputation of this town? We need to see some firing and some action from the town!

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: Think B4 Speaking

Were these officer's armed in a bar, plus drinking? Hmm.......

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013
Article comment by: A Simple Question

Anybody really believe the they will be held accountable for their criminal behavior? And yeah, punching someone for talking to you is criminal behavior. So is covering up the crime.

Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013
Article comment by: william jakimow

Throw them Iron Butterfly's in Jail!!!

Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013
Article comment by: dave popovich

will they be prosecuted like gang members as they certainly are?

Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Article comment by: John Stewart

@keepin it real - No one is "using the public" against anyone. You seem to completely overlook the fact that cops beat someone up and are being given no punishment. I suppose though that you must be a cop and think that cops should be able to do what they want and get away with it, right?

Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Article comment by: MADD as HELL

Witnesses told officers "they were a rowdy group," the bar "cut off about 90 percent of them from alcohol by the time the party ended," and "the whole group was acting like some outlaw motorcycle gang," the police reports state.
Can you say multiple DUIs? Rowdy angry Cops with drinking problems...great!


Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Article comment by: keepin it real

ATTENTION OMGs of AZ. I can see you have sucessfully found a tool to use against law enforcement, the general public. This whole thing has drawn way too much attention. Its rediculous and a complete waste of time and money. Also, please......quit sending your prospects to screw with the police. on duty or off they will end up on the wrong end.

Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013
Article comment by: dan harding

its not the first time for thiese thugs,thay go to bars just trying to pick fights.and hide behind thier badges.and on duty cops when called out.most carry hidden guns.thay seem to be above the law.you would'nt like it if your on a bike and get pulled over by one of them when on duty.thay well try to find a way to impound your bike to never be seen again..can you say cover-up.



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