Kirsten McIntyre, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Police have arrested three people after an off-duty Oklahoma City police officer was critically injured while helping break up a fight Tuesday night at a northwest Oklahoma City bar.

The incident happened at Dan O'Briens on Memorial Road. According to police, four men became involved in a fight. Officer Chad Peery, who was at the bar with his dad, was approached by employees who knew he was a police officer and asked him to help break up the fight. When Peery stepped in, three of the men assaulted Peery. When officers arrived, they found Peery unconscious.

"It was clear that the individuals knew that he was an Oklahoma City Police officer, were told he was a police officer and were making comments about it prior to the assault," said Oklahoma City Police Capt. Patrick Stewart.

Peery suffered a severe spinal cord injury and was in surgery overnight.

Peery was listed in critical condition Wednesday afternoon but has been able to speak to investigators.

Police arrested Joshua Bernard Rinken, Jimmy Dan Smith and Cadmio Antonio Lopez on complaints of maiming the off-duty officer. One other allegedly involved in the altercation has not been arrested.

"A maiming charge is generally used when there is some type of either permanent disfigurement or loss of, by state statute it will talk about, the loss of a member or of an organ or of a function of a body part. So at this point that's the charge that they've placed on both of these individuals. Obviously, before charges are presented, accepted thorough the District Attorney's office, that could change on what the appropriate or applicable charge will be," Stewart said.

Peery is a 3-year Oklahoma City Police veteran and is the father of four children.

"I did a lot of praying. 'Oh God' were the first words out of my mouth. It's every mother's worst fear to hear their child is hurt," said the officer's mother Jan Peery.

Jan Peery said her son is in a lot of pain and he's sleeping quite a bit.

"Right now we're just trying to focus on him, allowing his body to heal," she said.

The family has established a trust fund in Officer Chad Peery's name at the Municipal Employees Credit Union.