2 of 5 jailers arrested in Tucson bar attack fired

Victims were 'brutally beaten' relentlessly, police report says
2012-09-20T00:00:00Z 2012-09-20T17:44:40Z 2 of 5 jailers arrested in Tucson bar attack firedJamar Younger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
September 20, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Two of the Pima County jail corrections officers accused of beating four people outside of a North Fourth Avenue bar have been fired.

Angel Castaneda, 23, and Steven Haglund, 26, were fired today after they were suspected of taking part in the attack on three men and a 17-year-old boy early Wednesday outside the Buffet Bar, 538 E. Ninth Street, said Deputy Renee Carlson, a Pima County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman.

One of the men was taken to a hospital for serious injuries, Tucson police said.

Castaneda, Haglund and three other officers were arrested in the fight, which police said was unprovoked.

The other three officers who were arrested are John Hyatt, 30, Matthew Garcia, 24, Anthony Bonfiglio, 25.

They are all facing multiple charges of aggravated assault involving restraint or incapacitation of a victim, and aggravated assault resulting in temporary but substantial injury, police said.

At least 12 corrections officers were at the bar before the attack.

Hyatt, Garcia, Bonfiglio and seven other officers were placed on administrative leave.

None of the other officers have been arrested.

Bonfiglio received a letter of reprimand April 27 for failure to secure personal weapons and county equipment, being unfit for duty and abuse of sick leave, Carlson said. None of the other 4 officers has past discipline records in their department personnel files.

 

TPD is still investigating.

The Sheriff's Department released a statement calling the "criminal conduct" of the officers "shocking and reprehensible. We anticipate several terminations by the end of the week and more discipline in the next weeks as the investigation continues."

A TPD statement describing the incident said police responded to the Buffet Bar at about 2 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a report of a group of men attacking two other men outside of the bar.

When they arrived, they found four victims, three men and a 17-year-old boy, who were "suffering from injuries consistent with a violent physical attack."

Detectives determined the fight began when one of the victims left the bar and was attempting to unlock his bike. The five attackers came out of the bar and punched him in the back of the head without provocation or warning, the statement continues.

The man went inside the bar and asked another customer to help him get his bicycle.

When they went back outside, the five attackers confronted them and "began to physically assault both males by punching and kicking them. Both victims were brutally beaten and eventually fell to the ground, where the suspects continued their relentless assault," the police statement says.

Some bar employees went outside and tried to stop the attack, causing the attackers to flee briefly. However, a few of the men returned and resumed their attack, kicking one of the victims, who was already unconscious on the ground.

A neighbor and his 17-year-old son appealed to the group to stop attacking the two men, who were at that point helpless. The group then assaulted the man and his son before fleeing.

Detectives worked throughout the day to identify the suspects and arrest them.

A manager who answered the phone at the bar Wednesday night referred questions to the bar's owner, who wasn't available for comment.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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