Owners of Iconic Cody Restaurant Accused Of Threatening To Kill Customers

The owners of the iconic Cassie’s Steakhouse in Cody are in trouble after allegedly threatening to kill a pair of customers Wednesday and then kicking a police officer in the head.

Leo Wolfson

June 21, 20245 min read

Randel and Courtney Hooper, owners of Cassie's Steakhouse in Cody, Wyoming.
Randel and Courtney Hooper, owners of Cassie's Steakhouse in Cody, Wyoming. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

The owners of an iconic Cody restaurant are in trouble with the law after allegedly getting into an altercation with customers Wednesday night that escalated to making terroristic threats and assaulting a local police officer.

Cassie’s Steakhouse co-owner Randel Hooper, 56, is facing a felony charge for allegedly kicking and sending a police officer to the hospital, Park County Deputy Attorney Jack Hatfield said during a Friday morning arraignment for Hooper.

If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

His wife, Courtney Hooper, 42, is facing three misdemeanor charges related to the incident.

Cassie’s Steakhouse, which dates back to the 1940s, was bought by the Hoopers in 2022. It’s one of the more well-known and popular restaurants in Cody for its deep history and authentic Western motif, and is a big draw for tourists.

According to the police charging affidavit, the Hoopers followed a pair of disgruntled customers back to their motel after a verbal altercation at the restaurant Wednesday night.

Both parties reportedly made various threats to kill each other throughout the night, but events seriously escalated when Randel Hooper allegedly fought with officers as they were trying to arrest him, kicking one in the head and sending him to the hospital.

Both Hoopers were arrested.

Wearing orange prison garb, they were each arraigned in Park County Circuit Court on Friday morning and given cash/surety bonds for their release.

How It Started

Officers first responded to Cassie’s at 8:47 p.m. Wednesday on a report of a disturbance at the restaurant involving patrons who had allegedly threatened Courtney Hooper, causing the Hoopers to follow them outside of the business, according to the affidavit.

Upon arrival at the scene, Cody Police Officer Daniel Villalobos made contact with Courtney Hooper, who confirmed a verbal confrontation had happened between her and a couple from Florida.

Hooper told the officer that the couple was upset with the service at the restaurant and left the establishment, but not before telling Hooper they would kill her if she got in their face.

Courtney Hooper then called 911 about the exchange and told her husband what happened, the affidavit says. She said this prompted Randel Hooper to then begin chasing after the man and wife, who were walking toward the Big Bear Motel down the road.

Courtney Hooper stated she did not wish to pursue charges against the couple for the alleged threats, but did not want them back at Cassie’s again.

The couple was briefed by officers and everything appeared to be deescalating when Randel Hooper reportedly yelled out to Officer Villalobos that, “You better f***ing arrest them or I’ll be back and I’ll f***ing kill them,” Villalobos wrote in the charging affidavit.

Villalobos said he then instructed Hooper to leave the scene and stop his antagonizing.

More Threatening

About an hour later, officers were dispatched to the Big Bear Motel on more reports of threats.

According to the affidavit, officers learned that the Hoopers had returned to the motel after they left the first time and began asking for a man who’s friends with the couple. The man told officers he had informed the Hoopers there were no further problems and they needed to leave the motel.

The man also took video of this interaction on his phone. According to the affidavit, the video shows Courtney Hooper telling him that if he didn’t stop recording her and moving close to her vehicle, she would shoot him.

Officers verified that Courtney Hooper threatened multiple times to shoot the man.

“The state’s very concerned about her making threats to kill people within an hour apart,” Hatfield said during Friday’s arraignment, to which Courtney Hooper shook her head in disagreement.

According to the affidavit, the alleged targets of the threats also said they both heard Randel Hooper yell at them, “You better f***ing leave Cody or else,” which they took as a threat of violence.

While arresting the Hoopers at Cassie’s shortly after, Randel Hooper got into a brief physical altercation with Villalobos, resulting in him allegedly kicking the officer in the head. Villalobos said he had to go to the hospital as a result of the injuries he suffered from the impact of the kick.

Randel Hooper is also facing three other misdemeanors related to the incident.

Hatfield said there is no evidence that either Hooper was intoxicated.

Day In Court

Both Hoopers were arraigned in court Friday morning. Courtney was given a $2,500 cash/surety bond while her husband’s bond was set at $5,000 cash/surety.

Hatfield had requested a $10,000 cash-only bond for Randel Hooper and $5,000 cash-only for Courtney Hooper.

Although Courtney Hooper has no criminal history, it was revealed in court Friday that Randel Hooper had another incident of resisting an officer in 2004 in Utah.

Courtney Hooper had originally been charged with a felony for making terroristic threats, but that charge was dropped Friday, and Hatfield said it is unlikely to be refiled.

Randel Hooper is scheduled for a preliminary hearing June 28.

The Hoopers got into a drawn-out dispute with Park County commissioners and many of their neighbors in 2020 over their request to host live music events at their former restaurant in Wapiti. That request was eventually rejected.

The Hoopers eventually closed the Wapiti restaurant, Cutthroat Ranch, and reopened it as the Cutthroat Restaurant And Saloon in downtown Cody earlier this year.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at leo@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter