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Riverton bar fight leads to felony, misdemeanor charges

Mar 31, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

James Edward Crooks, 24, of Hudson, was bound over to the 9th Judicial District Court of Fremont County this week on charges stemming from an alleged bar fight March 9.

Crooks has been charged with battery and aggravated assault and battery for reportedly punching Darryn Davis, 24, of Riverton, in the face and knocking him down at about 1:20 a.m. March 9 at Bomber's Sports Bar, 502 E. Main St. Officers said Crooks had left the scene when they arrived and found Davis "lying supine" on the ground with "obvious severe trauma to his face."

Davis was transported to Riverton Memorial Hospital, where medical personnel determined he needed emergency transportation to the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper. Medical records indicate he suffered from bleeding inside of his skull and a subarachnoid orbital fracture to his eye socket.

Racial slur

On March 12, an officer from the Riverton Police Department traveled to Casper to interview Davis, who was still being treated for head injuries at the WMC. According to reports, Davis said Crooks used a racial slur before hitting Davis in the face. Davis reportedly did not remember much more from the assault.

On March 12, the officer said he interviewed Davis's sister Muriel Davis, who was a witness to the fight. Muriel Davis reportedly stated that she heard Crooks refer to her brother using a racial slur. Shortly afterward, she said, Crooks hit her brother in the face, knocking him to the pavement.

On March 16, the officer interviewed another person, Joseph Alberts, who claimed to be an eyewitness to the alleged assault. Alberts reportedly indicated that he saw Davis "draw his arm back" immediately before being struck by Crooks.

Community members had a rally last weekend in support of Davis, a minority of black and American Indian heritage.

Arrest

Crooks was arrested March 16 in Hudson and has been in custody since then with his bond set at $10,000 cash. He had his initial appearance in circuit court last week and was bound over to district court Wednesday.

The charge of "aggravated assault and battery" alleges that Crooks caused serious bodily injury to another person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. The offense is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

The battery charge alleges Crooks intentionally, knowingly or recklessly caused bodily injury to another person by use of physical force. The offense is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, a fine of not more than $750, or both.

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