Chad Peery walked into a bar Tuesday night to watch the Thunder game with his dad and a family friend.
Wednesday, the Oklahoma City police officer was listed in critical condition at OU Medical Center with a spinal cord injury that could prevent him from ever walking again.
Peery, 34, was off duty at Dan O'Brien's Public House, 2747 W Memorial Road, when employees asked him to intervene in a disturbance between other patrons about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, police Capt. Patrick Stewart said.
He was beaten as he tried to escort four men out of the bar, Stewart said.
Peery remained in critical condition Wednesday following surgery overnight, Stewart said.
His mother, Janet Peery, said her son had a broken neck and no feeling in his body below the injury, and doctor's aren't sure if he will regain feeling in his extremities or walk again.
“We are praying for that miracle,” said Janet Peery, who is chief executive officer of the YWCA of Oklahoma City. “Indications and statistics are not giving us a lot of hope.”
Four men were involved in a disturbance with other patrons when bar employees asked Chad Peery to help, Stewart said. The fighting patrons were told Peery was a police officer as he began to help break up the fight.
At least two of the four men attacked and beat Peery as he escorted them out, Stewart said. They did not use weapons, but Peery was beaten unconscious.
Stewart said he did not know what the initial disturbance was about.
Bar employees did not want to talk about the incident Wednesday.
Police arrested Jimmy Dan Smith, 28; Joshua Bernard Rinken, 28; and Cadmio Antonio Lopez, 32, after the incident, Stewart said. Smith and Rinken were arrested on maiming complaints. Lopez initially was arrested on an outstanding city warrant, but investigators added a maiming complaint Wednesday. Stewart said investigators think Smith and Rinken were involved in Peery's beating, but he wasn't sure what role Lopez might have played.