Two Oklahoma City police officers are off the job and under a criminal investigation.
The officers, who have not been identified, are accused of severely beating a man in Cherokee County while off duty Saturday.
The alleged incident occurred 170 miles away from Oklahoma City near Tahlequah. The police officers were not arrested, but investigators say they will present their findings to the Cherokee County District Attorney's Office.
Rangers with the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission say the off-duty officers were rafting with a group on the Illinois River when they confronted a convicted felon with the last name of Yohann. The felon's first name was not immediately available to News 9 from a law enforcement source Wednesday.
Witnesses tell rangers Yohann was about to attack his girlfriend when the officers identified themselves and separated the couple.
The officers then continued their rafting journey, according to Capt. Bill James with the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission. Witnesses tell James that Yohann began taunting the officers and using racial slurs. At one point, witnesses say Yohann picked up a rock but never threw it.
Rangers say the officers confronted Yohann again and a fight broke out. People who saw what happened told News 9 Yohann was badly beaten, but the police officers were OK. Yohann was taken to a Tulsa hospital via helicopter. Medical staffers tell rangers Yohann has non-life threatening injuries.
James says rangers are now working on gathering evidence that they hope will answer some important questions: Were the police officers justified? Did the police officers go too far?
No arrests have been made as of late Wednesday. The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission says the Oklahoma City police officers reported the incident to their superior officers. The duo has been placed on administrative leave, according to OCPD.
Capt. Dexter Nelson with the Oklahoma City Police Department says an internal investigation can only take place after the current criminal investigation. Nelson also says officials with his department will not talk on camera concerning this case because it is not their investigation.
The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission says it will not talk on camera because the case is an ongoing investigation.