A day after a judge sentenced the last of Chad Peery's three attackers to prison, the partially paralyzed Oklahoma City police officer said he isn't ready to forgive and forget.
“There's a time and a place for everything,” Peery, 35, said from his wheelchair Thursday at police headquarters. “Yesterday was not the time and the place.”
Joshua Bernard Rinken, 29, of Norman, pleaded guilty to an assault and battery charge Wednesday as part of a plea agreement before Oklahoma County District Judge Kenneth Watson.
Before he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 10 years of probation, Rinken asked to apologize to the officer and his family but was turned down.
“We offered to, and had a desire to address Chad and the rest of the Peery family,” said Tommy Adler, Rinken's attorney. “We gave them the option to hear that apology and they declined to hear it.”
Peery said “there will come a day” when he can forgive Rinken and two others for altering the course of his life.
For now, he's more interested in moving “onward and upward.”
“It allows me to close this chapter of my life and just focus on work, my kids and my life,” he said. “I'm glad it's behind me. I can't change what's done.”
Prosecutors said Rinken put Peery in a headlock in 2011, as the officer was escorting him and two other men out of a northwest Oklahoma City bar.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater negotiated the deal with Rinken's attorneys. Rinken, he has said, was the “most culpable” in the attack.
“We came to an appropriate resolution in the matter that was authorized by Chad Peery,” Prater said Thursday.
With credit for time served, Rinken will be eligible for parole in seven years, according to his attorney.
“We weren't afraid of going to trial. We had a viable strategy for going to trial,” Adler said. “A plea bargain is a risk-management decision. My client made the decision that it wasn't worth the risk to go to trial.”
Two co-defendants in the case previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the Feb. 15, 2011, attack.
Jimmy Dan Smith, 30, of Tuttle, pleaded guilty in February to an assault and battery charge and received a 10-year prison sentence. He was accused of punching Peery while Rinken held the officer.
A third man, Cadmio Lopez, 33, of Newcastle, pleaded guilty in November to an assault and battery charge and was later sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was accused of preventing people — including Peery's father — from coming to the aid of Peery.
Disturbance at bar
Peery was hurt as he escorted the men out of Dan O'Brien's Public House. Employees who knew Peery was a police officer sought his help because of a disturbance inside the bar.
Police said Rinken, an oil-field worker, started the fight, hitting the officer in the face at the doorway of the bar. The beginning of the assault was recorded by a surveillance camera.
Witnesses said Smith and Rinken punched the officer while Lopez kept others from interceding, police reported. Rinken is seen at one point holding the obviously unconscious officer from behind and in an upright position, police reported.
“Rinken is then seen dropping or throwing officer Peery down to the ground,” police said.
“The criminal justice system in a case like this can't deliver the only result that everyone wants to see, and that's for Chad to get up and walk again,” Adler said.