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.”