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Armed man to face charges after arrest on Phoenix Open course

PHOENIX- Investigators don't believe an armed man arrested after scuffling with a police officer during the final round of the Phoenix Open intended to threaten Tiger Woods or other PGA stars.

"I think he just let poor sense get the best of him," Scottsdale police Sgt. Doug Dirren said Monday. "He got a little mouthy, was told to calm down and he didn't heed the officer's warnings,"

But the Maricopa County attorney's office would be asked to review charges of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct against Brian K. Murphy, 40, of Phoenix, Dirren said.

Murphy was detained briefly in the Scottsdale city jail after he was cited Sunday, then was released on his own recognisance. In order to face the charges, he must be indicted or be formally charged by county prosecutors.

Bill FitzGerald, a spokesman for the county attorney's office, said the process could take several days, because cases involving jailed defendants must be resolved before others.

Murphy did not return messages left on the answering machine at his listed telephone number, and FitzGerald was unable to say whether Murphy had retained an attorney.

The assault count stems from an altercation between officer Rob Rucker, part of a police detail assigned to shadow Woods, and Murphy.

According to witnesses, Murphy had followed the final threesome for several holes and kept yelling Woods' name.

"I told the fan to be quiet, and he said, `I've got a gun, too,' and squared off on me," Rucker told The Arizona Republic.

After the two began grappling, they fell over a rope around the tee, and Murphy pulled Rucker's jacket over his head. Another officer and a spectator joined in, and pinned the burly Murphy to the ground.

The officers found a loaded semiautomatic handgun in a backpack, Dirren said. Murphy later produced a permit, issued through the state Department of Public Safety, that allows him to carry a concealed weapon.

Dirren said Murphy was released because, although the assault charge is a felony, authorities considered it a minor incident.

"In all honesty, these charges didn't warrant him being held before a judge," Dirren said.

But Woods, a 23-year-old sensation who finished third on his second trip to the tournament, was noncommittal on whether he would return to the TPC of Scottsdale.

"It might come to the point where it might be like a high school, where you have to have metal detectors in order to go in," Woods said. "Especially when you have this many people doing the things they're doing out there."

 

 

TRW