By Ryan Lewallen, County 17
Alcohol-related incidents kept local police on their toes Monday night with officers intervening to stop an alleged drunk driver and two separate fights.
The incidents kicked off at 10:55 p.m., Dec. 28, after concerned citizens contacted the Gillette Police Department (GPD) to report an intoxicated 39-year-old man was about to drive his vehicle from the Old Chicago parking lot on Boxelder Road, according to GPD Lt. Brent Wasson.
The man was contacted in his running vehicle, but officers permitted him to walk to a nearby hotel after the man stated he was only starting his vehicle because it had oil pump issues, Wasson said Tuesday morning.
Approximately 30 minutes later, hotel staff contacted police to report the man had left the hotel and was about to drive his vehicle out of the parking lot. Officers responded, stopped him, and arrested him for driving under the influence of alcohol, per Wasson.
Around the same time, officers were also dispatched to the Fireside Bar on Highway 14-16 for the report of a bar fight in progress. Upon their arrival, several parties were actively fighting with one another.
Officers broke up the fight and a 38-year-old man was identified for his alleged involvement. He was instructed not to leave while officers attempted to deescalate the situation further. The 38-year-old man reportedly slipped out of the bar and hid in his vehicle in the parking lot, where he was subsequently found and arrested, Wasson said.
During the ensuing investigation, witnesses informed officers that the 38-year-old man had reportedly started a fight with another unidentified male, who fled the area before officers arrived.
Several female patrons reportedly attempted to break up the fight, during which the 38-year-old man allegedly struck a 34-year-old woman in the head causing pain and swelling. He was charged with interference and battery, Wasson said.
At 3:30 this morning, police were again dispatched to the report of another fight on Sierra Drive involving two intoxicated male roommates, one 36 and the other 25.
The 36-year-old man claimed the 25-year-old man threatened to shoot him while brandishing a firearm, prompting the 36-year-old to strike the 25-year-old in the face multiple times in self-defense, per Wasson.
However, further investigation revealed the claims about the firearm were unsubstantiated and the 36-year-old man pursued the 25-year-old around the house before the younger man escaped out the back door.
Officers reportedly observed the 36-year-old man continue to cause a disturbance while they were on scene, Wasson said.
The 25-year-old man had a bloody nose and mouth and swelling to his face. The 36-year-old man was arrested and charged with battery as well as intoxication, according to Wasson.