Bull Pen bar

SAFFORD — A man who reportedly beat another man at a local bar last month, alleging the victim bullied him as a youth, may be charged with aggravated assault.

The victim and his brother reported the incident to Safford Police at the victim’s residence, just before midnight on a late November Saturday. The victim said they went to the Bull Pen bar around 11 p.m. and that he stepped out to the patio to make a phone call. Shortly after the call, which he made at 11:17 according to his phone’s time stamp, an unknown male approached and hit him in the jaw, knocking him out.

The victim said other patrons identified the assailant as a man named Daniel Rios; one allegedly told the victim’s brother Rios worked in the Graham County Probation Department.

Rios contacted Eastern Arizona Courier, saying the report is in error and he does not work for Graham County Probation.

Hearing of a fight outside, the victim’s brother entered the patio and saw the victim being tended by several people. The brother confronted Rios, either on the patio or as Rios left the bar; their accounts differed. Rios then claimed the victim had bullied him in school. Both brothers denied knowing Rios. Following bar policy, everyone involved in the altercation — including the victim — was asked by staff to leave.

According to a police report, the victim’s jaw was swollen and his mouth bloody. After reporting the incident, he went to Mount Graham Regional Medical Center. He reportedly suffered a broken nose and several loose teeth in the attack, as well as lesser head and face injuries. Due to those injuries, he told police he believed he was struck multiple times.

According to a police report, Rios later accused both brothers, along with a third brother, of bullying him. Rios said the sight of his alleged bully brought back his old anger.

After viewing Bull Pen surveillance footage, police contacted Rios at his residence. The video reportedly showed Rios and the victim interacting briefly, even shaking hands. Rios then shoved the victim into a row of couches, aimed a kick in his direction and punched him in the face several times.

Rios did not deny the attack but denied hitting the victim in the nose. According to the police report, Rios’ wife later said she checked the victim and saw no blood or injuries. Rios reportedly asked when the incident was reported and said the victim’s injuries might have come from a second altercation that night.

Rios claimed that, about an hour after the attack, he called friends at the bar who said the brothers were still there drinking — though the involved parties were ejected after the incident — and the victim “was fine.” The victim told police he complied with staff’s request to leave after recovering from the punches and did not drink any further.

Rios also said he was told the brothers stayed the rest of the night. However, they were back at the victim’s residence before midnight to report the attack.

The police report was forwarded to the Graham County Attorney’s Office for review of an aggravated assault charge against Rios.

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