TRAVERSE CITY — A Michigan Department of Corrections officer faces a bevy of charges after police said he, among other things, beat bar staff with a wooden parking barrier and rammed a police cruiser early Tuesday morning.
Cesar Castro-Ramirez, a 25-year-old from Pleasant Lake, was arraigned Friday morning on six charges — five of which are felonies.
The list includes three counts of assault with a deadly weapon — court record specifies the parking barrier — malicious destruction of police property and third-degree fleeing from a police officer.
He also faces a misdemeanor charge of operating while intoxicated.
Each assault charge carries a possible sentence of four years in jail, while fleeing carries five years and malicious destruction, four years, according to court record. They also each carry at least $1,000 in potential fines.
Castro-Ramirez had no employer listed in court records, but his attorney Paul Jarboe confirmed that the Pleasant Lake man was a corrections employee Friday afternoon.
Castro-Ramirez’s co-defendant, 26-year-old Giana Brooke-Alexis Nieto, of Jackson, is set to be arraigned on two misdemeanor counts of assault and battery July 19.
Traverse City Police Capt. Jim Bussell said the incident began around 1:30 a.m. at Dillinger’s Pub in downtown Traverse City, when Castro-Ramirez became aggressive and belligerent to pub employees after being 86’d.
Angry words soon turned to swings, and Dillinger’s General Manager Scott Lama said Nieto jumped into the fray as well.
“It always seems like there’s one stupid thing that happens during Cherry Festival,” Lama said. “This is that stupid thing.”
The scuffle dragged several pub employees out into the street, where Castro-Ramirez is accused of attacking them with a wooden parking barricade.
Police said Castro-Ramirez also landed several hits to a bouncer’s groin.
Police responded to the scene and arrested Nieto, but Bussell said her companion had already fled.
It wasn’t for long, however. Bussell said Castro-Ramirez returned to the scene shortly after in a truck. Officers attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle, but Castro-Ramirez threw the truck in reverse and rammed their cruiser, breaking a tie rod and putting the patrol car out of commission.
Court records note a request that the Traverse City Police Department be reimbursed for $125 by Castro-Ramirez.
Bussell said Castro-Ramirez again fled, this time driving the wrong way down Front Street. Traverse City Police, with help from Michigan State Police personnel, mounted a search. They discovered Castro-Ramirez hiding under a table in the conference room of the Park Place Hotel later that morning, where he was arrested.
Court record lists several witnesses of the evening’s incidents.
Jarboe said he’s currently in the process of reviewing police and witness reports regarding the incident, which Bussell said left three pub employees with minor injuries.
Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg did not immediately return calls for comment Friday.
See updates at www.record-eagle.com.