Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Anthony Uribe, left, and Kyle Virga were both booked into jail after allegedly committing early morning drunken crimes at two local bars.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Two men demonstrated their inability to drink responsibly early Sunday morning. While they started out their night being rowdy at two bars, they ended it placed behind bars after running unsuccessfully from the police.
Anthony Uribe and Kyle Virga were both arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility for their intoxicated actions.
The early morning shenanigans began at about 1 a.m. when officers were dispatched to Shane’s Place at 609 S. 6th Ave. regarding a criminal damage call.
Upon arrival, the owner of the bar advised that Uribe and Virga were drinking at the bar but had become upset over the service for some reason. The men then decided to leave and go to the Bull Pen bar at 912 W. Thatcher Blvd. instead.
The owner said he thought nothing of it but then two security guards and a third individual reported seeing Uribe strike the owner’s truck with a metal baseball bat. The men then left in an SUV.
The officer was shown the damage to the door and window of the truck that was apparently caused by the bat.
While a Safford officer was en route to the Bull Pen to continue the investigation, Graham County Dispatch alerted that an assault call had just come in from the Bull Pen and the two suspects matched the description of Uribe and Virga and that they were fleeing in a tan SUV.
Graham County deputies arrived at the Bull Pen first and witnessed Virga peel out of a dirt lot, causing dirt and debris to fly into the air.
The deputy initiated a traffic stop and Uribe bounded from the vehicle and ran on foot past the Dairy Queen. A second deputy gave chase but lost him.
Virga reportedly threw a beer bottle out of his window and then attempted to flee on foot as well but was apprehended at about 1:43 a.m. by the first deputy and taken into custody. A later search of the SUV yielded a white, metal bat.
Uribe was soon found hiding in a dumpster at the Graham County Courthouse and was also taken into custody.
According to a Safford Police report, bar staff at the Bull Pen said the two men had just arrived and were causing problems with other patrons. A bartender requested bar security to remove them from the establishment and when they attempted to do so both Uribe and Virga became confrontational. The issue escalated to where Uribe allegedly punched a bouncer in his face and Virga chased another one around with a barstool.
A bouncer deployed a TASER at Uribe, but it did not stop the suspect’s advance. Eventually, bar staff managed to force Uribe and Virga out the door and they ran across the roadway to their vehicle.
During interviews, both Uribe and Virga claimed the bar staff at the Bull Pen had assaulted them and that they only fought back to defend themselves.
Since Virga was seen driving, he was also investigated for DUI, which became an aggravated DUI after officers learned of a warrant out of Clifton for failure to appear on an original charge of driving on a suspended license.
Virga refused to take a portable breath test, however, he failed field sobriety tests and allegedly admitted to drinking “ a (expletive deleted) lot” of alcohol that day. A warrant was later granted to procure his blood and a possible charge of aggravated DUI is pending lab analysis. He was then booked into the jail on his warrant as well as a charge of disorderly conduct.
Uribe blew a breath/alcohol concentration of .248 when he was booked into the jail at 2 a.m. He was booked on a criminal damage charge for the truck, assault, disorderly conduct