Ex-Marines face charges in brawl
Two former Marines are each facing a felony charge after allegedly breaking another man’s jaw in a bar fight that witnesses said started after the victim lied about being in the military.
Christopher John Milojevich, 23, of Enola, Pennsylvania, and Chad O’Bryan Pruitt, 22, of Savannah, Georgia, were both arrested early Saturday near the intersection of N. Seventh and Main streets, arrest reports said.
The two — who both were in Grand Junction to attend a training school — allegedly attacked the 24-year-old victim after a conversation at Quincy Bar & Grill, 609 Main St.
The victim told a police officer “that he claimed he was in the military even though he wasn’t,” an arrest affidavit said. “He said the two males became angry with him as they were in the military and were able to tell by (his) statements that he was not.”
The victim claimed he was walking home when a red pickup truck pulled up next to him and Milojevich and Pruitt attacked him, the report said.
“(He) did not know how many times he was hit or by whom, but he knew he was punched in the face multiple times and kicked repeatedly in the head,” the report said. Several witnesses corroborated the victim’s story, with one Avalon Theatre employee calling the attack “brutal.”
Milojevich told the officer “he was just defending himself” because the victim had shoved and tried to punch him. He admitted punching the victim “about six times” but denied kicking him. Pruitt claimed he was never involved with the fight, but said he pushed the victim down one time “to keep him on the ground and to try and stop the fight.”
Both men appeared Monday before Mesa County Judge Michael Grattan on counts of second-degree assault, where Chief Deputy District Attorney David Waite asked they be held on secured bonds.
“The victim would have been here today but for the fact that he’s getting his jaw wired shut,” Waite told Grattan, calling the crime “extremely serious.”
Public Defender Jessica Alexander asked for a personal-recognizance bond for Milojevich, noting that he was recently honorably discharged from the Marines after four years of service and has the means to return to Colorado for court.
Public Defender Scott Troxell said Pruitt appears to be the less culpable of the two, and said self-defense might be raised later in his case. Grattan ordered each held in lieu of a $5,000 cash or surety bond. Both are due back in court next week.