Fight Between Tubing Parties at Salt River Leads to One Man Being Airlifted to Hospital

The typical daylong intake of sun and alcohol at the Salt River is bound to cause problems every summer.

A weekday afternoon of tubing on the Salt River did not turn out as planned for two groups last week, as an argument between two tubing parties led to one man being airlifted to a hospital.

Last week, two groups of tubers started a verbal argument on the river, in the middle of the afternoon, according to court documents obtained by New Times. The two parties ended up separating, but they ended up meeting each other once again after both groups exited the river at the same point.

While one man was walking away from the water, his wife shouted his name, and the man turned around to see 29-year-old Chandler resident Ryan Niemoller coming right at him, according to the documents.

Without being provoked, at least at that moment, Niemoller allegedly shoved the man as he turned around, and the man fell, hitting his head on the rocky ground.

The man was temporarily knocked unconscious from the fall and also had a temporary loss of memory, according to the documents.

The victim, who had what police describe as a "Y-shaped" cut on the back of his head, also started vomiting, apparently from the injury.

The victim had to be airlifted from the river to be treated at a hospital.

A tubing party separate from those involved in the argument told police that Niemoller went after the victim "on his own accord," the documents state.

Niemoller doesn't appear to have a criminal history, based on a search of state records, but he's been charged with felony aggravated assault in this case.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley