Updated December 27, 2011 at 10:37 p.m.
Steamboat Springs Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect new developments after Tuesday's court hearing.
Four men now have been arrested in connection with a Dec. 11 fight in downtown Steamboat Springs that put a 27-year-old Illinois man in the hospital.
Two of the men turned themselves in to jail Tuesday after warrants were issued Dec. 22 for their arrest. Jordan Daniel Rieber, 23, of Steamboat, and Luke Jonas Warren, 20, of Green Lane, Pa., were booked into Routt County Jail on suspicion of second-degree assault.
Steamboat attorney Charles Feldmann is representing Luke Warren and his brother, Samuel James Warren, who previously was arrested in connection with the fight. Samuel Warren, 21, of Steamboat, was charged with second-degree assault, third-degree assault and possession of marijuana.
A fourth man, Taylor Michael Gey-Weiss, the Warrens’ cousin, was arrested Christmas Eve in Bucks County, Pa., for what authorities said was his role in the altercation. Feldmann, who may serve as Gey-Weiss’ attorney, said the man is awaiting extradition to Routt County.
Routt County Chief Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle said that when Gey-Weiss arrives in the county, he, too, would be charged with second-degree assault unless there were extenuating circumstances, such as an extensive criminal history. Prindle said he wasn’t sure when Gey-Weiss would return to the county.
Steamboat Springs Police Department Detective Nick Bosick has said that police think three or four men may have assaulted Thomas P. Murphy, who suffered a skull fracture in the fight that took place about 12:45 a.m. Dec. 11 at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue. Murphy’s younger brother also suffered facial injuries that required stitches.
According to the arrest warrants for Rieber and Luke Warren, Rieber told police that he, the Warren brothers and Gey-Weiss started drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana at about 5 p.m. Dec. 10. The warrant also states that the manager of a downtown bar later kicked out Samuel Warren for “aggressive behavior” related to altercations inside and outside the bar, parts of which were captured on video surveillance. Those altercations do not appear to have involved the Murphy brothers. According to police, the video surveillance shows Warren slapping and pushing people.
According to the warrant, the Warren brothers, Gey-Weiss and Rieber then were headed toward another bar when they ended up at the same intersection as the Murphy brothers. Rieber told police that one of the Murphy brothers got in Samuel Warren’s face and tackled him to the ground. The warrant indicates that Luke Warren and Gey-Weiss told a similar story to police.
But the Murphys told police a different story. After a conversation with the four men started “going the wrong way,” Thomas Murphy’s brother said he tried to flag down what he thought was a police car. It wasn’t, and he said that when he turned around, he saw Samuel Warren punch his brother in the head, knocking him to the ground. When he tried to go to his brother’s defense, the man said he, too, was punched in the head and knocked to the ground, at which point he curled into the fetal position while the other men kicked him.
A witness interviewed by police said she was walking up the street when she saw four men kicking another man on the street. She yelled at the men to stop and flagged down a passing car to call 911. She said the four men then fled the scene.
After a court hearing Tuesday afternoon for Rieber and Luke Warren, Feldmann said he was trying to figure out what happened that night. He said neither Samuel nor Luke Warren have criminal records.
Rieber and Luke Warren both posted $10,000 bonds Tuesday.
Luke Warren was given permission to return to Pennsylvania, where he lives with his parents. He is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 25. Rieber is scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, as is Samuel Warren.
To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com