Fight

Wyoming suspends injured hoops star Martinez following arrest in bar fight

2013-01-14T10:16:00Z 2013-05-29T20:58:38Z Wyoming suspends injured hoops star Martinez following arrest in bar fightBy BEN FREDERICKSON Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

The bar brawl that led to Wyoming guard Luke Martinez’s broken shooting hand has now further jeopardized the senior’s career and the Cowboys’ 14-1 season.

UW officials announced Monday that Martinez, 22, has been suspended indefinitely after Laramie Police arrested him at 2:15 a.m., Sunday on a felony charge of aggravated assault.

The arrest stems from Martinez’s involvement in an incident at the Buckhorn Bar in downtown Laramie in the early morning hours of Dec. 30, the same incident in which Martinez broke the fourth metacarpal in his right hand, an injury commonly called a “boxer’s fracture.”

Laramie police received a phone call about the Dec. 30 disturbance shortly after the bar’s closing time of 2:30 a.m. No arrests or charges came from the initial investigation. Police said Martinez stayed at the scene and spoke with police about the incident.

“It looked like it was more of a mutual combat type of thing,” Laramie Police Cmdr. Mitchell Cushman said.

But Cushman said more information since the Dec. 30 altercation led to the arrest. Multiple witnesses have come forward since the event, which led to the charge. Cushman said Martinez is currently the only person who was involved in the incident to be arrested or charged.

Aggravated assault is a felony punishable by up to 10 years. Monetary damages may also be levied against someone found guilty.

According to the statute, the charge fits incidents in which someone “causes or attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life” and or “attempts to cause, or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.”

In Martinez’s case, the degree is not yet known. Depending on the details of such cases, hands and or feet can fit the definition of weapons, authorities said.

Martinez is scheduled to appear in circuit court Tuesday morning. An affidavit of probable cause, which will provide more information about Martinez’s involvement in the Buckhorn fight, will also become public record on Tuesday.

UW officials will have no further comment on Martinez’s situation due to the ongoing legal process, according to its release. Martinez, whose right hand is in a cast, has traveled with the team and sat on the sidelines during his injury. Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt said Saturday evening that the guard was expected to have an X-ray sometime Monday.

“The plan is to X-ray him Monday,” Shyatt said the day before Martinez was arrested. “Shyatt’s plan is to have him back in the lineup Tuesday. I think otherwise with the doctors, though.”

Shyatt was interviewed on the Tim Brando Show, a national radio sports talk show.

“This has been difficult, because I really love Luke,” Shyatt said. “Luke made a bad decision, being out late at night, and consequently was in a little bit of a ruckus.”

“We’ve got to let the process play out,” he said when asked if there is a chance of Martinez returning to the team. “We are going to do everything we can to help him, but we have to let the process play out.”

Prior to the Cowboys’ practice Monday afternoon, sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr., spoke about the team’s response to Martinez’s suspension.

“Of course we feel for him,” Nance Jr. said. “That’s a tough situation no matter what happens. But we have to move forward. We have to keep improving with the guys that we have now.”

Reach reporter Ben Frederickson at ben.frederickson@trib.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ben_Fred.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. rudegurl
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    rudegurl - January 15, 2013 10:47 pm
    I didn't say they weren't men I said the actions of the 3 men displayed "boyish", immature, irresponsible behavior! The amazing part is that Luke was not intoxicated! A 5th year senior should know better. I assume he was a captain and look at the example he sets! Awesome, that is definetly who I want representing e University....NOT! He should and most definatly should be charged as an adult. I feel bad for the players who choose to do the right thing and work hard to have to sit the bench in order for Martinez to play! Can u imagine how they feel? Why would they want to behave responsibly? It's obvious the team can act however they want and face no repercussions until they could have potentially killed someone and still the only repercussions are from law enforcement. The University and Shyatt want him right back on the court!
  2. rgath
    Report Abuse
    rgath - January 15, 2013 6:27 pm
    "boys"? there are men his age and younger leading rifle squads in afghanistan right now, and showing a lot more maturity in the process. let him face the charges as an adult.
  3. rudegurl
    Report Abuse
    rudegurl - January 15, 2013 3:07 pm
    WOW I can't believe the coach would want to allow basically a murderer back on the team! Anybody who can kick a person in the face when they are defenseless is very
    SICK in the head and probably needs major anger management, counseling, and possible antipsychotics! I don't think anyone realizes that if the victim would have been kicked in the throat causing his esophagus to collapse or kicked in the temple, the victim could have been braindead for life or possibly KILLED. It is amazing how LOW the University is willing to go just to win some worthless basketball games. To me what is more important a HUMAN LIFE or a basketball game? Obviously to the University of Wyoming, Coach Shyatt, and the athletic department it is a basketball game! AMAZING! Yeah the team was winning but when is it OK to condone such actions displayed by Martinez? By supporting his actions and even considering allowing him back on the team it is only promoting unruly behavior and instills in the athletes that there are no consequences for their actions! The University should be living up to a moral code and be instrumental in creating quality citizens. I am ashamed as part of the Laramie community to be affiliated with an institution that allows such nonsense. I can't believe tutition amd taxpayer dollars are going towards a scholarship to such a ugly person. It makes me want to vomit. Does Coach Shyatt, the athletic department, and the University not understand these boys are supposed to be role models within the community? There are kids who look up to these boys (we can't say men because men wouldn't behave in such a manner)! I will NEVER support or attend another Wyoming sporting event agian and discourage individuals from going to the University.
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