Questions raised over investigation into bar fight involving off-duty officers
POSTED: Monday, August 12, 2013 - 5:08pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 16, 2013 - 9:51am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — A fight at The Office Nightclub between two off-duty BRPD officers and a civilian have some questioning the fair treatment of the case.
According to police documents, James Hinson, 31, got into a fight with two off-duty officers when they were leaving the Baton Rouge nightclub.
It all started in the stairwell of The Office nightclub on Third Street in Downtown Baton Rouge. It was a bar fight that witnesses said left at least three men bloody and bruised and landed James Hinson in jail.
"As I run down the stairs and I get to the bottom, I see a puddle of blood, I see people piled around the base of the stairs. I see somebody laying there face-up completely turned around backwards. Like I said, it looked like he'd been shot in the face," said a witness to the fight.
It wasn't until after the fight that people there started learning two of the men involved were off-duty police officers. According to court documents, Hinson had allegedly grabbed one of the officer's fiancées' and then elbowed that same off-duty officer in the face when he confronted him about it. That's when one of the off-duty officers allegedly started shoving Hinson and a full blown fight between the three followed. A witness and someone close to Hinson didn't want to be identified, but told us, the officers should be in jail, too.
"It upset me because regardless of what happened. How it all started, both parties were apparently wrong in this case, but the only guy who's going to get in trouble is the guy who was unconscious and went to the hospital at the end of the night. And I don't want to see just him get in trouble," said the witness.
Hinson is an amature MMA fighter, but the witness told us it was clear to him that the fight had gone way too far.
"It was excessive, I mean the way he was laying there. The wounds inflicted to his face and his head, to his body. It’s obvious it was so far over the top. It really was," he said.
.A spokesperson for BRPD said right now there is no internal investigation and they wouldn't comment on the story, but our witness believed everyone involved is to blame.
"The law is the law and I just want it to apply to everybody the same," he explained.
Hinson was charged with Sexual Battery and Simple Battery. He was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. His bond was set at $25,000.
More arrests are possible in this case.