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Bath Twp. officers headed to jail for bar fight

Bath officers.JPG
Posted at 6:58 PM, Jan 27, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — The 61st District Court in Grand Rapids has confirmed with Fox 47 that both Bath Township officers who were involved in a bar fight have been sentenced.

Payton Warner will serve 14 days in jail. He plead no contest to two charges of assault and battery, both misdemeanors. His fines and court costs total $625.

Bryan Miller will also serve 14 days. He plead no contest to creating a disturbance in a public place, which is a misdemeanor. He owes $625 in fines and court costs.

The Bath Township Police Chief, Lye Lindemulder, told FOX 47 that both officers are still employed with Bath Township and are currently on unpaid leave.

He said as far as their disciplinary action goes, "we do not release police officer personnel records."

In October, the officers, who were off-duty at the time, were arrested for fighting in a Grand Rapids bar.

Web bar owner, Deb Owen, told Fox 47 that Warner and Miller were involved in a Oct. 9 fight at the bar. Owen said the off-duty officers punched a bartender and kicked a customer before the fight broke up.

Police reports don’t indicate that any weapons were used during the fight or what started it.

Owen said Miller threw the first punch. Owen’s son is the bartender and refused to serve Miller before the fight started, she said.

A woman, who claims she was caught in the middle of the fight, told Fox 47 the charges the officers received aren't enough.

Stacey Weaver said she was punched in the face by one of the off duty officers. "I just don't think that they're fit to wear a badge,” Weaver said.

Grand Rapids Police Sgt. John Wittkowski said in a statement that alcohol was a factor in the bar fight.

Wittkowski said Miller and Warner received charges that are typical for people who are arrested for fighting.

“It’s pretty much standard,” Wittkowski said. “They weren’t treated any different than any other person.”

He added, "People tend to make very poor decisions when they have too much one is immune...certainly a police officer is not immune to that."

Reports of the bar fight, taken from four Grand Rapids police officers, don’t indicate how long it lasted.

The reports also don’t indicate any weapons were used, Wittkowski said.

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