Friday, March 19, 2010

Green Street shooting victim acted in self defense,attorney says

Posted By on March 19, 2010, 4:54 PM

John Junior “JJ” Pikula ,who in September 2009 was shot by an off-duty Salt Lake County sheriff’s deputy in a bar brawl, is facing charges filed by the District Attorney’s Office for felony assault and reckless endangerment. Pikula’s attorneys however say witnesses show his client acted in self defense.---

The District Attorney’s charges state that Pikula’s party were the aggressors in a bar brawl at the Green Street Social Club at 602 E. 500 south on Sep. 19 0029 when Pikula’s bachelor party group had an altercation with a group of friends that accompanied off-duty sheriff’s deputy Robert Chacon. The fight that erupted ultimately resulted in Pikula attacking a member of Chacon’s party, causing the off-duty deputy to shoot Pikula in the back, an injury that hospitalized Pikula for weeks.

While the District Attorneys charges allege Pikula head butted one of the member’s of Chacon’s party, attorney for Pikula Yossof Sharifi says witnesses contradict that version of the fight alleging that a member of Chacon’s party started the brawl by punching Pikula twice in the face.

As the time of this posting, the District Attorney’s Office had not returned a comment. Sharifi however says that conflicting witness statements at the least prove reasonable doubt regarding the guilt of his client. He also says the evidence bolsters the argument that Chacon’s use of a deadly weapon to shoot an unarmed man is all the more suspect.

“You can’t drink and bring a gun to a bar and nearly murder someone,” Sharifi says. “Clearly that’s not conduct becoming of a sheriff’s deputy.”

Pikula's arraignment will be March 26, at 10 a.m., at the Third District Court House in Salt Lake City.

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