The Oklahoma City assault lawyers for three men accused in the beating and maiming of an off-duty police officer are preparing for trial after a judge found sufficient evidence to merit trial. The beating of the off-duty Oklahoma City police officer attempting to escort unruly patrons from a local bar has captured the public interest in the city and throughout the state of Oklahoma.
Assault of a Police Officer
Officer Chad Peery was left partially paralyzed after the attack outside of Dan O'Brien's Public House in northwest Oklahoma City. Last week's preliminary hearing detailed the assault. According to witnesses, including a bartender who was working on February 15, the night of the attack, Officer Peery was asked to intervene when three customers twice attempted to start fights with other patrons.
- Joshua B. Rinken, 28, Norman
- Jimmy Dan Smith, 28, Tuttle
- Cadmio Antonio Lopez, 31, Newcastle
Witnesses say that the men were told several times that Peery was a police officer, but they continued to behave aggressively. When the attack started, bartender Martin Barrett claims he yelled, "Stop! Stop! He's a cop!" Another witness reports hearing Rinken say, "I don't care if he's a cop or not."
Several witnesses claim they saw Rinken holding an apparently unconcious Peery in a headlock while another man, allegedly Smith, throw punches at the wounded officer. After the hearing, Oklahoma County Special Judge Fred Doak ruled that there is enough evidence to hold the three defendants for trial on one count of assault and battery by means of force as is likely to cause death, an assault charge punishable by up to life in prison.
Judge Doak is also allowing an alternative charge of maiming, punishable by up to 7 years in prison. Rinken's Oklahoma assault lawyer previously stated that the more serious assault charge was an inflated charge that wasn't warranted by the circumstances, calling the officer's injuries the unfortunate result of a typical "bar fight that got out of hand." The defense attorneys for the three accused men saw a minor victory when Judge Doak threw out a count of conspiracy to commit assault and battery on a police officer.
Prosecutors have said they will appeal the judge's decision on the conspiracy count. Judge Doak has not yet ordered trial pending the appeal. For more information about assault and defense strategies visit our criminal defense page.