Yavapai College - Newsletter 3

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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : local August 01, 2014

3/11/2013 4:30:00 PM
Two top YCSO officers resign in wake of bar fight
Capt. Marc Schmidt, left, and Sgt. Bill Suttle, right, were reportedly present during the December
Capt. Marc Schmidt, left, and Sgt. Bill Suttle, right, were reportedly present during the December "Iron Brotherhood" bar fight.
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - Two high-ranking members of the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, both of whom were members of a law enforcement motorcycle club and were reportedly present at a December fight in a Prescott bar, have resigned from the department, a YCSO spokesman confirmed Monday.

Sgt. Bill Suttle, the former Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking unit commander, and Capt. Marc Schmidt, a member of the sheriff's executive staff, resigned Monday, YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said.

D'Evelyn said he could not say why either man resigned. Sheriff Scott Mascher is out of town, he said, and they gave their notice to Chief Deputy John Russell on Monday morning. D'Evelyn said they "submitted applications for voluntary resignations with intent to apply for retirement."

Suttle was placed on paid administrative leave in February while other agencies investigated his role in a Dec. 22 bar fight at Moctezuma's, in which members of the Iron Brotherhood are accused of assaulting a civilian, who was injured in the incident. Suttle was replaced as commander of PANT by YCSO Lt. Dan Raiss.

A Prescott police report said Suttle told investigating officers that Prescott Deputy Police Chief Andy Reinhardt was in the bar at the time, "but I want him left out of this."

"We knew you guys were going to show up," Suttle said, according to the report. "They told me you were coming, so I told Andy to go home."

Suttle also told the man who allegedly began the scuffle to go to the club's hotel. He identified the man only as "Top Gun," the report said, and denied knowing Top Gun's real name.

Schmidt joined YCSO in 1988 as a detentions officer. He was promoted to captain in 2012, had supervised field operations, worked in the forest patrol, and the special weapons and tactical team.

Schmidt is mentioned in the police report as being a member of the Iron Brotherhood, and the officer writing the report said he saw Schmidt briefly at the bar but didn't get a chance to talk with him. It's unclear what, if any, role he may have played in the incident.

Schmidt and Suttle were among the highest-paid personnel at YCSO. Suttle's salary was just under $70,000; Schmidt's was $78,000.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety and Coconino County Sheriff's Office are separately investigating the incident, and D'Evelyn said those reports are not yet completed.

A spokesman for DPS has told The Daily Courier that agency's report may be complete by the end of March.

Related Stories:
• Report: Two YCSO employees hindered prosecution in Iron Brotherhood incident
• MORE IRON BROTHERHOOD FALLOUT: Prescott Valley police chief retires, citing 'controversy'

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: @ Support Your Police

Today I read in the paper about a 21 year-old who was cited
and arrested after trying to enter an establishment, where he was not
wanted because he was already drunk. The suspect "Nathaniel Hansen" after being turned away. according to the police report went on to punch the mananger and then
to fall through a window.

The suspect had left the area by the time
the police arrived and there is no mention in the report that the
police knew the identity of the suspect, yet the police went ahead,
based on the discription and the eye witness accounts and found the suspect
nearby, presumably identified him, discovered a meth pipe, took him to
jail and charged him with aggravated assault.

I am decerning that you are a perceptive and thoughful individual. It
is impossible for me to believe that you are not seeing the double
standard that is so apparent.

Are there basic guidelines in place that
offer guidance on how much substantiation is generally acceptable
before a citation is given? Does it matter if the suspect is employed
or not?

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Article comment by: Roger Dane

"Discriminating judgment" That is what I want the men and women of law enforcement to contain "in spades!"

As former LE in a major City I read with sorrow and some 'ill ease' the past few month's reports and comments regarding the 'bar brawl' of Dec 22nd. At one extreme, these men carry 'life and death' on their hips... at the other, they decide if you waited 3 seconds at a stop sign. But note that the "power" given police officers is so great that Federal mandates against misusing it exist... 'assault under the Color of Authority' (not invoked here) is a Federal crime just because it is expected that cops, law enforcement officers will exercise 'sound judgment' and 'personal discipline' in every aspect of their on duty lives... and department rules clearly require 'conduct becoming an officer' in all other aspects of that life, personal and professional.

This behavior was not 'professional' in any consideration and suggesting that "stress" or the "need to let off steam" or any other excuse for this behavior goes far beyond a stretch of the professional expectations. All the men who have been forced to resign (that is what it is) have foolishly, capriciously given up their careers, much of their future income and "their standing" in the proud community of Professional Police Officers (to say nothing of how it must be at home, sad).

It is not that these men are 'not good' people but they exhibited exceptionally poor standards of behavior and questionable ethics post incident and that makes them unqualified to continue in the (needed) esteemed role of peace officers.

They all had years of experience and their jurisdictions are losing that investment, the taxpayer is out that expense and simply because they 'had' to engage in "gang mentality" driven behavior that, in most other circumstances, they would have been trying to curtail. A lose lose situation.

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013
Article comment by: @ Ways to Support Your Police

Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I agree with you on some
level but I come at it from a different direction. For example I
believe that the local policing agencies are in a better position to
foster community spirit than the public in general... mostly because they have an existing network and a common interest.

I believe in the goals of community policing. Obviously police are
going to be more effective if they live in the neighborhoods that they
patrol. Moreover it is easier to demonize people that you aren't
running into at the P.T.A. or church or the little league field. I
know that community policing could not be accomplished entirely but it
is worth pursuing for the instances that it is possible within
existing constraints. I agree with your desire to be constructive.

I will also tell you that I have never been treated with anything but
curteousy and respect by local law enforcement. I am a very cautious
driver and I do not frequent Whiskey Row. That being said, I am a
mother and a grandmother and a citizen of Yavapai County. I have
ligitimate concerns about brutality. The young person that was
attacked at that bar is lucky he was not permanently injured, maimed,
or worse. That could have been any one of our children. What chance
would they have to protect themselves? Thank God for the bouncers that
were keeping the peace that night.

I do not believe that it is appropriate for local law enforcement to
be members of a group called The Iron Brotherhood. Even the name of it
frightens me on so many levels. It sounds like a strong, united, and
violent enterprise. Even the symbols on their patches are violent. At
least with the motorcycle clubs that are not affiliated with law
enforcement there would be immediate and harsh legal consequences if a
family member were attacked.

I do not know these men that resigned but I do know that one of them
was the leader of PANT. That is a position of great responsibilty and
trust. According to newspaper accounts and the police reports, Sgt.
Suttle took steps to shield the suspect from questioning. Moreover he
requested to have the suspect left out of the investigation entirely.
These are the people that we trust with deadly force. We need them to
be truthful.

According to newpaper and police reports, the suspect "Top Gun" hit
that young person so hard in the face that he needed help getting up
off of the floor. He needed help exiting the bar. He sought medical
attention at the local hospital. It is not a leap to question if this
is the only time members of The Iron Brotherhood have shieled each
other from questioning. It is not presumptuous to question the
practice of using nicknames in a motorcycle club, as a code that
functions to shield the individual members identities. Why do they
need to shield their identities?

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013
Article comment by: More To Come

@ Ways to Support the Police
A video speaks volumes...what details can undo that? Retirement is the only way out for all that were involved. Who wants "fired" from the LE on a resume'? It is beneficial to a perp to voluntarily retire, but that should not supercede any charges that could arise out of the investigation, like carrying a knife in a bar and assault.

All involved should have retired/quit early on, but no, rolling the dice that perhaps they would escape the axe falling apparently is a more lucrative way.

And again thanks to the Courier for keeping us informed. Flash: What bar on Whiskey Row has a new name?

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013
Article comment by: Brett Moscatiello

I want to thank the Courier for allowing the truth to be exposed. Certainly the law enforcement officals involved would have gotten away with breaking the law if not for the efforts of our local paper to bring out the whole truth. Law enforcement has to held to a higher standard or at least the same standard they expect us ordinary everyday citizens to be held to.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: Ways to Support Your Police

TO: I submitted this yesterday

Thanks for asking the question. Learn about their job. Go on a ride-along. Attend a session of the citizens academy. Attend a crime prevention program. Host a BlockWatch meeting and actually TALK to an officer in a non-adversarial setting. Consider volunteering. Take an opportunity to meet the chief.

Simply recognize that they have a difficult, overwhelmingly negative job that many people wouldn’t do. Police officers don’t often get called by people who just want to tell them everything in their life is going great... Try to understand that the police have a dangerous job and have procedures in place that are designed to keep them safer, but those procedures don’t always endear themselves to the public. For example, if you understood the many reasons why they point that bright light at you on a traffic stop, you’d know there are tactical reasons for it and it’s not just a power trip to irritate you.

When posting, simply keep in mind that you don’t know all the details of a particular incident just because they were reported in the paper. What actually occurred in a particular incident and what is reported in the paper (through no fault of the reporter or the police) are oftentimes vastly different.

You’ll note that none of these suggestions have anything to do with pay raises or jail taxes. But since you brought it up – yes, it costs a lot of money to run a police department. No one is expecting you to write a blank check, but if you became more educated about how the dollars were spent you’d be more likely to support their efforts or at least make an informed decision not to support increases.

Finally, supporting the police DOES NOT mean that you let them slide when allegations of misconduct have been raised. You let the administration know that you have an expectation that they can take however much time is necessary to properly investigate an incident, but they must ultimately hold officers accountable and suffer sanctions if the misconduct is substantiated.

Trust me, I get the point. This issue goes much deeper than what happened in that bar that night. The sign of a professional department and supportive community is to use this incident as a catalyst to improve the partnership on both sides.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: The Rev

The Iron Cross means Nazism to Americans.

Many good folks will down Irish Car Bombs this weekend. Should some feel offended at that ignorance or accept it as a localized understanding?

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: From the grateful citizens of Yavapai County

Congratulations on your retirement, gentlemen. You've earned it through your many years of service and sacrifice.

This incident represents a very, very small blemish on years and years of dedication and commitment and in no way should be viewed as a diminishment of your contributions. Thank you for your service.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: I submitted this yesterday

@ The high cost of not supporting your police

I am not certain exactly what you would have us do to demonstrate our
support for our police department. Are you asking for a pay raise? Are
you seeking support for a new jail tax?

I think that you are missing the point.

1) This incident confirms our worst fears about law enforcement, (
That they enjoy brutality when they are in a group and that they lie
about it. )

2) The officers involved have leadership positions, which creates the
( That brutality, dishonesty and corruption are systemic rather than isolated. )

3) It appears that extreme care is being to taken to ensure that every
single possible charge is merited. According to newspaper accounts the
Prescott Police did not even attempt to locate the suspect. The
suspect has not even been identified much less cited, nearly three
months after the incident.

4) If our children behaved this way on Whiskey Row, they would
certainly be cited and jailed the same night. ...

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: Oh really

To all of you defending these two are you out of your mind did you actually see the video? I watched it several times and what i saw was two cops continuing to push and threaten and try to continue a fight after it had been difused by the bouncer. I saw a man trying to talk to tw of the cops and all they were doing was pushing their way threatening towards this gentleman and he was not making any threatening moves at all. I did not see professionalism from those off duty officers at all, but i saw gang type behavior. I never once saw any reason for those officers in any way to have to defend themselves, so to falsly claim they were defending themselves is ludicris. I also in defense of them did not see NAZI symbols on their vests just some drunk cops trying to prove how tuff they were. The fact that they have resigned is showing that they feel guilt so as far as i am concerned punishment is served. They do however deserve to collect any retirement they have earned up to the point of this incident.
Now they need to focus on TOP GUN and from what i have heard he is a FED and he has always had a problem holding his alcohol and always been a hot head.....if this is true then he needs to be taken off duty permanently. Really there is no need to get so rude with the comments from either end control the hate and do things legally and ethically and things will work out, saying hateful things about anyone is just plain stupid and accomplishes nothing.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: TO: Daughter of a Retired Cop

I come from a law enforcement family as well. Generations as a matter of fact, and I went on to marry an officer. Thank you for your kind words. I agree wholeheartedly.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: TO: some of you don't get it!

Thank you for being a mature adult and calling me "ignorant". It shows me your character. Oh, and thanks for copying and pasting a quote you found online.

And to the person posting in reference to the symbol, thank you. You explained the emblems and their background in your OWN words. I appreciate your candor.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: @Another Opinion

I agree with the other writer, if I were from CA, I would never admit it. Yes, a disgrace. That being said, you will find that the true conservative abhors corruption which is what we have here. Not saying they should lose their retirement...but definitely corrupt practices when it comes to their own. I have always had a great respect for cops as a rule. But there are good and bad in every profession. Here their seems to be a higher percentage and since, we, the taxpaying citizens, directly spend our own money to support this police force, we expect honor, uprightness and at the very least, one set of rule books, Our city leaders have remained silent, the investigating officers did not follow SOP. Your statement of one person writing over and over is wishful thinking. ...

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: @ Another Opinion

I don't see any Liberals on here other than self-proclaimed ex-Californians. Thank you, and you have a nice day if you can.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: Public Opinion

@ Another Opinion

To get a better perspective of this incident, why don't you take a statewide poll of police chiefs and sheriff's and ask them this question:

As the chief of police or sheriff of your agency, would you join the Iron Brotherhood Motorcycle Club if given the opportunity?

Please explain your answer and defend your position.

You may be shocked to find that you are about the only person who doesn't understand the importance of Public Image in law enforcement, the value of Public Trust and the Importance of conducting your personal and professional lives in such a manner so as not to bring any discredit upon yourself, the agency or the profession.

The PV Police Chief and the Deputy Chief for Prescott PD should understand these things better than anyone since they are both graduates of the FBI's National Academy for LEADERSHIP. Being a part of a 3 piece m/c club is not a good example for others to follow, but some did because they saw their leaders do it.

So it shouldn't be surprising when people voice their disguist with you for defending the actions and behavior of these leaders by saying that "Wearing the vests, showing the badges, having too much to drink and being rowdy at most would deserve a reprimand".

Just remember, some people have differing expectations of their local law enforcement leaders and "Wearing the vests, showing the badges, having too much to drink and being rowdy" along with dressing the part of a biker, are NOT amongst them.

Your poll results will show you that.

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: To marc

Thank you for your service to YSCO I enjoyed working with you. You are a good man who how as we say it "In the wrong place at the wrong time." Those on here are quick to ridicule you for your membership to the Iron BrotherHood they have no idea who you are or what your are about.
It's very unfortunate this happened. those on here say you dont deserve your retirement. My question is this why not? I have yet to hear or see anything about you being involved in this incident. They judge you for your membership to this club and because of a few bad apples in this club. You paid your dues to the county you stuck with it through thick and thin. No matter the problems. Hold your head up and enjoy yourself. ...

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: Daughter of a Retired Cop

To Captain Schmidt and Sargent Suttle: Thank you for your wonderful years of service. I am sure you have both taken good care of our community for many years. The comments written are from individuals that are quick to judge, but also quick to dial 911 in an emergency. They have not been the ones responding to accidents, telling families they have lost loved ones. They have not had to comfort a child when there has been a domestic fight and both parents end up in jail. They are not the ones who see the woman who has been beaten and abused. They only see what they want to see. You have both contributed to and earned your retirement. I'm sure this is not the way you intended to leave the department, but again, thank you, thank you, thank you, for taking care of the citizens, good and bad, of Yavapai County. I wish you well in the future.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Fellows

Re: Nazi symbols
The Iron Cross is not a Nazi symbol, so people questioning the connection are not uneducated. It is Teutonic, having a long history with Germany, and is still the symbol of the Bundeswehr, the German military.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: Another Opinion

@ Yet Another Opinion

I came from California to ESCAPE liberals. Prescott is NOT a liberal city. And, I intend to help keep it so.

So do many of the other transplants who have come here to escape cities ruined by liberalism.

If you are pushing a liberal agenda, no, I don't agree with you and after watching liberals turn wonderful cities into broke hell holes, I don't intend to be silent anymore. You may or may not be a Prescottonian, but if you are trying to change the conservative mindset of Prescott, you, not me, are the one out of sync in the community.

Have a nice day.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: @ some of you don't get it!

You're the one that needs to educate yourself.

The cross as displayed by the Iron Brotherhood is a symbol that originated with the Crusaders in Jerusalem in the 13th century. It was taken home to Germanic lands and became symbolic to those lands. It was first used as a military award in Prussia in the 19th century, and remains the basic symbol of the German military even today. Yes the Nazis awarded the "Iron Cross" to members of their military, but it is NOT a 'Nazi' symbol.

The 'Nazi' swastika to which you refer is what is illegal in modern Germany, and does not appear on any Iron Brotherhood regalia, at least not any which I have seen. The swastika, BTW, is also a much older symbol that was co-opted by the Nazis.

I have no sympathy for the Iron Brotherhood suffering the consequences of their choices, but you could at least get your facts straight. There is so much ignorance in these comments it makes me despair of our future as a culture.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: peter white

When they hold the retirement party for these two, what picture will they display? The picture where they are wearing the dress uniform or their motorcycle colors???
As long as the investigation is ongoing and they are part of that investigation, no retirement should be granted.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: andrea doria

But they look so nice in their pictures!

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: to- re: some of you don't get it!

re: some of you don't get it!

"Guys that wear Nazi symbols off duty"

"Where is the symbol on their jacket? Enlighten me."

IT IS CALLED AN IRON CROSS= "Adolph Hitler renewed use of the Iron Cross in 1939 and superimposed the Nazi swastika in its center. Following the fall of the Third Reich, the symbol became strictly prohibited in post-war Germany. Today, the symbol is often displayed by neo-Nazi groups, especially as jewelry (e.g., pendants). The Iron Cross without the swastika is also frequently used as a hate symbol in the same manner as the Nazi-era Iron Cross. It is sometimes used for shock effect as it conjures up images of Nazi Germany and its military without being explicitly Nazi itself. In this guise, it is often displayed on clothing and accessories."

I hope you are just too young to be educated on this. If not, I pity your ignorance on this subject!

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: @ @ Question

We have several issues though standards of law enforcement, prejudice about bikers, and unique disdain by some of Harley-Davidson comradeship.

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: @ Question

This is not about anyone's desire to own or ride overpriced, underperforming conformity machines that are akin to putting around on loud leather sofas aka HDs. It's about grown men sworn to serve and protect dressing up in costumes ...

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Yavapai College - Newsletter 3

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