Man in critical condition after downtown fight


— A North Carolina man was airlifted to a Denver hospital with serious head injuries Friday after a downtown fight that began because of songs on the jukebox, police said.

Richard Lopez, 37, of Fayetteville, N.C., was found unconscious at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue at about 12:15 a.m. Friday, Steamboat Springs Police Sgt. Gerard Geis said.

Lopez was transported via ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center and later was airlifted to Denver Health Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition Friday night, hospital spokeswoman Sammy Emerson said.

Lopez and two friends got into a dispute with other patrons at The Tap House after someone selected a Jimmy Buffett song on the jukebox, Geis said. Everyone involved in the dispute moved outside, and the fight broke out nearby at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue.

Lopez's friends sustained minor injuries in the fight. Timothy Mottlau, of Norfolk, Va., and Wes Mottlau, also of Fayetteville, N.C., were taken to the hospital with cuts and bruises, Geis said.

Other people were seen fleeing the scene at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue when police arrived, Geis said. Steamboat Springs Police Department detectives have identified suspects in the assault and were conducting interviews Friday, he said.

The Mottlaus originally are from Steamboat Springs, and the three injured men were here on leave from the military, Geis said.


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