Craig police officer injured in weekend brawl |

Craig police officer injured in weekend brawl

Christina M. Currie

Craig Police Department Officer Jeffrey Carlson was assaulted Sunday night while trying to break up a bar fight at the Holiday Inn. According to Public Information Officer Lt. John Forgay, Carlson was bruised, but not seriously injured.

Theron Phelan Kohpay, 29, of Craig was arrested for aggravated assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and interfering with police. He is being held in Moffat County Jail on $5,000 bond.

At 1:42 a.m., Carlson was called to the Holiday Inn to break up a fight. When he arrived, the fight met him in the parking lot and was easily broken up. Carlson had called for back-up when he arrived on the scene and didn’t realize he’d need it until a bartender yelled there was another fight inside.

According to Forgay, Carlson walked into a “real mess.” It seemed most of the crowd was involved in the ruckus. Carlson worked to calm the crowd and an announcement was made closing the bar for the night. The crowd dispersed, Forgay said, except for two men still engaged in what appeared to be a fight. It now appears that one man was trying to calm Kohpay.

Carlson asked Kohpay to calm down and to leave the bar quietly, but was met with a string of profanity. Kohpay hit Carlson in the face and tried to strangle him.

“This guy just wouldn’t back off,” Forgay said. “When he had the opportunity to calm down, he didn’t take it.”

Other officers arrived and managed to handcuff Kohpay. Handcuffed, Kohpay still managed to aim one last kick at Carlson.

Kohpay was taken to The Memorial Hospital where he was given a clean bill of health and transported to Moffat County Jail where he continued to fight with officers.

Forgay said he didn’t have the result of Kohpay’s blood alcohol level, but guessed he was intoxicated.

This is the first time Kohpay has had this type of brush with law enforcement.

Other than a wild night at the Holiday Inn, the city was quiet during the Halloween weekend that stretched for three days. There were several small incidents, but the Craig Police Department didn’t experience the vandalism and petty crimes anticipated.

“Come Halloween, you usually think there’s a certain amount of mischief,” Forgay said.

About 6 p.m. Friday, a juvenile male’s bicycle was stole in what police refer to as a “street strong-arm.” The bicycle was reported stolen by another juvenile dressed in a pullover alien mask.

Charles Johnal Lira, 19, and Paul Donnel Harrell, 19, were each cited for underage consumption of alcohol. That was not the only brush with the law for unlawful acts with alcohol. Two other male juveniles were issued summons for unlawful acts with liquor and Michael Anthony Spreier, 32, was booked for intoxication after it was reported he was “harassing trick-or-treaters and being obnoxious.”

The only damage to private property reported over the weekend was one house which was “egged.”