Off-duty officer allegedly attacked at bar

Monday, February 11th 2008, 10:28 pm
By: News 9

By Mary Joseph, NEWS 9

An off-duty Oklahoma City police officer's night at a birthday party was interrupted when three men allegedly attacked him. One of the suspects already has a rap sheet.

William McKinney is accused of assaulting a police officer. In the past, the Cleveland County District Attorney said McKinney was accused of breaking a police officer's leg.

Newcastle police reports state an off-duty Oklahoma City police officer was at the Halftime Bar and Grill in Newcastle when Felipe Rodriguez approached him. The officer worked a federal drug case several years ago, where Rodriguez was a defendant.

Detective Kevin Morrissey of the Newcastle Police Department said the off-duty officer paid his tab and tried to leave the bar, but Rodriguez, and two other men, including McKinney stopped him from leaving the bar.

"He informed them that he was a states witness, he informed them that he was an off-duty police officer and they proceeded to keep him from leaving the business," Morrissey said.

Then police said McKinney head-butted the off-duty officer, possibly breaking his nose.  That's when the police officer called 911.

McKinney's attorney said the tables were turned during the bar fight and it was actually the officer who instigated the fight.

"The police are exaggerating and they are simply trying to punish my client for protecting his friend who was being attacked in a bar," said Attorney Don Jackson.

Jackson also said McKinney did not know it was a police officer who was involved in the confrontation.

"There was no mention he was a cop, there was no identification as such, there was no uniform, there was no indication he even knew he was getting into a fight with a cop," Jackson said.

Newcastle police used a Taser on both McKinney and Rodriguez when they arrested them.  Both men have their preliminary hearing conference set for March 5.

McKinney is out of jail on a $125,000 bond. Rodriguez is still behind bars in federal custody.