Bar Cited For Fight That Paralyzed Oklahoma City Police Officer

Thursday, March 10th 2011, 11:03 am
By: News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma's Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission (ABLE) has cited the Oklahoma City restaurant in which Officer Chad Peery was beaten and paralyzed in February.

Prosecutors have charged Joshua Rinken, Jimmy Smith and Cadmio Lopez with assault and battery, maiming, and conspiracy to commit a felony. Police said on Tuesday, Feb. 15, Officer Peery and his father were watching a basketball game at Dan O'Brien's on Memorial when employees asked the off-duty officer to help break up a fight. Witnesses said when Peery stepped in to stop Rinken, Smith and Lopez from arguing with customers, they beat him until he was unconscious.

In what the ABLE Commission called an unprecedented and significant move, the agency cited Dan O'Brien's for allowing the fight. Because this is the bar's first offense, it has received a written reprimand. But because of the severity of the beating and Officer Peery's injuries, ABLE pushed for a two-year agreement with Dan O'Brien's that would help ensure customers' safety in the future.

"We wanted to scrutinize more closely and attempt to reach some sort of settlement order that would do just more than reprimand Dan O'Brien's," said John Maisch, Attorney for ABLE Commission.

The bar will now maintain mandatory security levels from 9 p.m. to closing seven days a week. On its busiest days, Thursday through Saturday, four security guards will be on duty during those hours. Other days, there will be a minimum of two guards. During special events and holidays such as St. Patrick's Day, there will be four security guards on duty.

Read the ABLE Commission's agreement with Dan O'Brien's

The security enhancements will cost Dan O'Brien's $15 an hour per security guard, which would be a cost of about $150,000 over the next two years.

As part of the settlement, the bar will also now require every server to receive training from ABLE or the Restaurant Association in how to identify aggressive behavior by patrons, and what steps to take to keep the situation under control. They'll also be taught to spot customers who've had too much to drink, as well as underage drinkers.

"We would encourage all bars and restaurants licensed by the ABLE Commission to make sure their employees do receive server training and do things to make sure their establishment are adequately secure," said John Maisch, Attorney for ABLE Commission.

In its agreement with the ABLE Commission, Dan O'Brien's did not admit to tolerating or permitting fighting, but it did admit a physical altercation occurred.

DOB Pub LLC- the company expected to take ownership of Dan O'Brien's- released a statement Thursday regarding the agreement.

"Dan O'Brien's wants to thank Officer Peery for his heroic efforts. He was and is our friend and we will keep him in our thoughts and prayers.

We will do everything within our power to prevent this from happening again, and we welcome the ABLE Commissions advice on how to do so.

We have complete confidence in David Prater and completely support him in his efforts to prosecute this crime to the fullest extent of the law."

Meanwhile, Peery's mother said her son's prognosis hasn't changed, but his spirits remain high. She said her son's is looking at at least 18 months of strenuous physical therapy.