An Oakland County sheriff’s deputy who was arrested after an alleged St. Patrick’s Day bar fracas has been stripped of his badge and gun and temporarily assigned to civilian jail duty until the criminal case against him is resolved.
Thomas Knasiak, who had been a deputy at the sheriff’s office Highland Township substation until the incident, was charged with resisting a Livingston County sheriff’s deputy who was investigating the alleged fight at O’Malley’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, 1774 N. Old U.S. 23 in Hartland Township, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Another man, Andrew Coleman of Howell, was similarly charged. Both men were arraigned in Livingston County District Court on Wednesday. Knasiak and Coleman are free on $8,000 and $10,000 bond, respectively, and will appear in court again Friday for an exam conference.
A Michigan State Police trooper was one of the first to respond after a 911 caller said three men were assaulting another male. The victim was reportedly “highly intoxicated” and unable to provide authorities with any details about the fight.
When a Livingston County deputy attempted to interview Knasiak and Coleman, who had been identified by the bar staff as involved in the fight, they allegedly walked away, ignoring deputy commands to stop.
The deputy reportedly grabbed Knasiak and Coleman by their jackets and said, “ ‘I need to talk to you’ and they resisted,” Livingston County Undersheriff Michael Murphy told the newspaper.
Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe said Knasiak was stripped of his deputy status immediately after the sheriff’s office learned of his arrest. An internal investigation will also be conducted.