Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Hailey police officer involved in bar fight

Express Staff Writer

Due to a conflict of interest on the part of the Hailey Police Department, Ketchum police are investigating an alleged battery against an off-duty Hailey officer during a bar fight.

Ricardo Castillo, 25, of Yakima, Wash., was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor battery after he allegedly started a fight with Officer Julio Hurtado, 24, at The Mint Nightclub in Hailey shortly after midnight Saturday.

Hailey Police Chief Brian McNary said Hurtado reported that the two got into an argument and Castillo shoved him and tried to hit him. McNary said the two then came to blows. He said Hurtado told police he had to defend himself, though McNary said it is not yet clear who punched whom first.

"I'm just going to have the investigation done and, hopefully, we'll get to the bottom of this," he said. "We're trying to find some independent witnesses."

McNary said he had asked the Ketchum Police Department to investigate the incident since it involves a Hailey officer. Ketchum Police Chief Cory Lyman confirmed that his department is doing so.

McNary said he is also investigating whether proper procedures were followed by his department in dealing with an incident involving a Hailey officer.

Castillo was reported released from Blaine County Jail upon payment of a $300 bond.

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