During Bar Fight, Wyoming Basketball Player Allegedly Kicked Unconscious Man In Face "Like It Was A Football"

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On Dec. 31, when news emerged that Wyoming senior guard Luke Martinez—the second-leading scorer on a team that was still undefeated at the time—had broken his hand, the injury was reported as having happened during an "off-campus incident." Yesterday, the Cowboys announced that coach Larry Shyatt was suspending Martinez indefinitely because criminal charges had been filed against him, and that Laramie (Wyo.) police said Martinez had broken his hand during a Dec. 30 bar fight.


Today, police released the details of that fight: Martinez, 22, allegedly admitted to cops early this morning that he had kicked the victim, Parfait Nayigihugu, in the face after Nayigihugu had been knocked to the ground with a punch witnesses say was thrown by one of Martinez's teammates, Derek Cooke. Nayigihugu had to have surgery to repair multiple fractures in his jaw, which is now wired shut.

According to a court papers, the incident happened after police responded to a brawl involving several people at the Buckhorn Bar. When police arrived, Nayigihugu lay "motionless and appeared to be unconscious and bleeding from the mouth in the middle of the roadway." One witness, a bartender at the Buckhorn, said that after Nayigihugu attempted to grab someone matching Cooke's description by the arm, that person punched Nayigihugu and knocked him out. Martinez, the bartender said, then "ran up to [Nayigihugu] and kicked him in the face," adding that the kick was delivered "with such force that it made me sick," and that "he booted his face like it was a football." One Buckhorn bouncer said Martinez had taken "running start" before kicking Nayigihugu in the face. And another bouncer said Nayigihugu had attempted to punch Martinez and missed before being knocked to the ground by a punch from Cooke. Nayigihugu was "motionless" and believed to be "unconscious," the second bouncer said, before Martinez delivered what "looked like a perfect soccer kick."

Questioned by police at 1:23 this morning, Martinez first said he may have "stepped" on Nayigihugu's head, according to the cops, before saying he might have "stomped" on it, before finally saying he kicked him in the head. Martinez has been charged with aggravated battery and assault. His affidavit of probable cause can be read below.

[Casper Star-Tribune]