MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 12, 2013

OSBI looks into fight at golf tourney

OHP troopers alleged to be involved in assault

By Thad Ayers
Phoenix Staff Writer

— An alleged fight possibly involving Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers at a golf tournament Thursday has been handed over to state investigators.

McIntosh County Sheriff Kevin Ledbetter said his office requested the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation come in after responding to a fight at the Fountainhead (Creek) Golf Club. The sheriff’s office assisted the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Tribal Police at the  course.

Sheriff’s Detective Jared West said Brian Root, 41 was treated and released at a local hospital.

Root said he was injured by at least three people, including two OHP troopers, at the Oilman Lawman Golf Tournament.

The fight started shortly after an awards ceremony, Root said. He did not say how it started when asked, but said a man knocked him down and choked him.

“That’s when I got kneed in the face and punched by two highway patrolmen,” said Root, of Eufaula.

OHP spokesperson Betsy Randolph did not comment Friday.

OSBI spokesperson Jessica Brown said the bureau had been called Friday to investigate an alleged assault and battery reported at the golf tournament.

“We’ve gotten a request, we’re in the process of opening the case,” Brown said. “We’re waiting for reports from the sheriff’s office that was out there.”

No suspects have been identified, Brown said.

Root said he sustained an eye injury that needed stitches, has cuts on his face and bruises on his neck.

Oilmen and law enforcement officers were at the tournament, though Root said there were “more cops than there were oilmen.”

Reach Thad Ayers at (918) 684-2903 or tayers@muskogeephoenix.com.