Deputies trying to break up Fight Club | RecordCourier.com
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Deputies trying to break up Fight Club

by Merrie Leininger, staff writer

Four Carson Valley men have been charged in connection with battery after a large fight at a party in the Pine Nuts.

Officers tracked down people involved in the fight with the help of confidential informants.

According to police reports, the DCSO had received information in the previous two or three months from a number of people about a group calling itself “The Fight Club.” Members reportedly attend local parties and start fights. They are reputed to target younger people and when one member gets into a fight, the others join in and beat the victim. Citizen informants have described the group as violent and dangerous.

In mid-August, police were called to a party that included many underage drinkers at an area east of Coyote Rock in the Johnson Lane area known as “the wash.”

The victim, a 29-year-old man, went with a friend to the party and reported there were at least 20 cars and more than 100 teen-agers drinking from several kegs of beer. There were at least two or three men with handguns and shotguns who were firing their weapons near the party.

After being at the party for about an hour, a man who had been walking around the party punching himself in the face offered the victim $50 to punch him in the face.

The victim told police he tried to reason with the man – later determined to be Raymond Joseph Ficklin, 22, of Gardnerville, who goes by Joe. However, after realizing the fight was going to take place, he took off his shirt and looked to his friend for help. According to many witnesses, Ficklin struck the victim on the side of the face when his head was turned and knocked him down.

Witnesses say many people then began kicking and punching the victim. Even more people jumped in and began kicking the victim after he pulled out his knife and began swinging it around.

The victim told police he feared for his life. The man’s friend tried to break it up, but was chased off and kicked in the side of his head and in the chest. When some people managed to break it up, the victim ran off and hid in the sage, then ran to a friend’s house.

He was taken to a hospital emergency room by ambulance and treated for facial lacerations, contusions and other injuries. Police went to the wash and stopped a car with four juvenile females and one adult male.

The adult male, Donald Lee Hunt Jr., 20, of Mound House, was arrested in connection with a probation violation. He had been drinking and was in possession of a .40- caliber handgun with a laser sight. Hunt was released on house arrest until his pretrial conference Nov. 1 at 2 p.m.

Hunt is charged with possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or another substance, a misdemeanor, two counts of minor possessing or consuming alcohol and two counts of battery.

The next night, officers went to Ficklin’s home in Gardnerville after receiving a hang-up 911 call from the house and found four males who were agitated and had fresh scratch marks on their skin but would only say there had been an incident in retaliation for the previous night’s fight.

Later, Jason David Giles, 24, of Minden, was charged with felony battery with a deadly weapon. He is accused of going to Ficklin’s home and beating him with a baseball bat in retaliation for the beating his friend received at the wash party.

On Oct. 4, Giles was released from house arrest, but was ordered to be in his home between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. everyday. He also must not drink and must submit to search and seizure. He will have a preliminary hearing 9 a.m. Nov. 16.

Two days after the wash party, a person spoke to deputies on the condition of anonymity. The person said he had been at the party and gave information about who was involved in the fight.

Other informants also identified Ficklin and Hunt, and also Rob Campbell, Andrew Hatchett, Caleb Kruger and Vincent Calcese.

After individually interviewing anyone except Andrew Hatchett, who reportedly lives in California, each was charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery.

Calcese, 20, of Gardnerville, who was on probation out of East Fork Justice Court at the time of his arrest, was released on house arrest Sept. 27 and faces six months in jail because of previous convictions. He will have a pretrial conference at 2 p.m. Nov. 1.

Caleb Clay Kruger, 18, of Minden pleaded guilty to one count of battery in Justice Court Sept. 27 and was given a six month suspended jail sentence. For the next year, he must consume no drugs or alcohol, submit to random testing, submit to search and seizure, keep a full-time job and pay probation fees.

Joe Ficklin will have a pretrial conference at 2 p.m. Nov. 1. He faces two counts of battery. Ficklin told police the victim had been trying to pick fights with everyone at the party and then pulled a knife on him.

Robert Campbell, 23, of Gardnerville will face two counts of battery Nov. 1

Deputy District Attorney Alan Buttell said it is possible more charges will be filed if Hatchett is found.