A group of off-duty cops at a Prescott bar were mistaken for violent motorcycle gang members by a Glendale man who says he was assaulted by them.
Prescott police talked to the 23-year-old victim at about 11 p.m. on Saturday night while he was being treated at the Yavapai Regional Medical Center's west campus, says a Prescott PD news release.
The victim told the officer he was at a downtown Prescott bar and believed he'd been punched repeatedly by several "members of a motorcycle club." His face took the brunt of the beating, but he was released from the hospital apparently without serious injuries.
When police started checking up on the situation, they soon learned the alleged group of thugs were actually off-duty police officers.
"A preliminary investigation revealed that the individuals involved in this incident were off-duty law enforcement officers from throughout the state," the news release says. "Prescott police officers on-scene collected evidence from the location of the reported assault and statements from witnesses."
Prescott Police Chief Mike Kabbel has asked the state Department of Public Safety to conduct an independent criminal investigation of the incident.
The Prescott Daily Courier, which broke the story last night, quotes a DPS spokeswoman saying that "members of the Prescott Valley Police Department" were implicated.
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.
We ask Askew if he was involved -- he says he wasn't, and therefore has no firsthand info about the situation.
His agency has no further comment, he says.
It'll take DPS at least a few weeks to do this investigation, we figure. Meantime, we'll have to guess which other agencies were involved. Which local police agency employs people most likely to be mistaken for a motorcycle gang?
Our first guess: At least one deputy from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
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