BREAKING: Hudson man arrested Saturday afternoon for Felony Aggravated Assault in alleged racial attack one week ago

By Ernie Over, managing editor,

(Hudson, Wyo.) – A 24-year-old Hudson man identified as James “Skip” Crooks was arrested around 4:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon and charged with Felony Aggravated Assault in connection with a fight that sent a Riverton man to a Casper hospital. Riverton Police Captain Eric Murphy said Crooks was arrested without incident at his home by Fremont County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by RPD Detectives.

RPD thumbnail badgeMurphy said that following a week-long investigation into the case, police were able to obtain a warrant for Crooks arrest today from Judge Wesley A. Roberts in Fremont County Circuit Court.

Crooks was charged with hitting a 24-year-old Riverton man with one punch in the face one week ago in the 500 block of East Main Street at 1:24 a.m. The victim received broken facial bones which necessitated specialized treatment in Casper.

According to witnesses and the police investigation, the two were arguing as they left the bar. The victim and Crooks exchanged words, with Crooks allegedly calling the victim a racial slur. The victim is of Native American and African American ancestry. Crooks is caucasian.

The two men were reported to have grown up together in the same household and had been friends. After the two exchanged words outside the bar, a Riverton police report indicated the victim took a fighting stance in reaction to the alleged slur, but Crooks struck first, hitting the man in the face and knocking him to the ground with one punch. The man received emergency treatment at Riverton Memorial Hospital and was then transported to the Natrona County hospital.

“As you know, Wyoming does not have a hate crimes law, and we treat such incidents as an aggravated assault,” Murphy said.

Detectives this past week interviewed family members, witnesses and both men as they put the case together.

According to Wyoming State Statutes, a person can be charged with Aggravated Assault and Battery, which is a felony, if they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly inflict or attempt to inflict serious bodily injury on another person “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.” The maximum penalty is up to 10 years imprisonment. If convicted, the defendant must pay restitution to the victim, including reimbursement for any expenses resulting from the crime, such as medical bills, unless the court finds the defendant is unable to do so.



  1. Davette Mock

    I'm sorry but if people are stupid enough to believe this story I feel sorry for you, skip is far from being racist and maybe If the guy wouldn't have ran up on skip throwing punches he wouldn't have gotten the injuries from peer self defense and Who has ever heard of a fight at a bar ending with one punch? Maybe if the other guy wasn't intoxicated and playin bullet proof none of this would've happened. But now skip has to suffer for defending himself, how does that work? no one would have just let someone run up behind them and throw punches and not punch back. l

  2. Michael Smith

    The RPD will never get it right I remember back in 1988 2 of Riverton's finest cops took a black man with a compound fracture of the leg out of the hospital and dumped him in a bar ditch near Kinnear and when it went to court the City and the police department lost the case.

  3. Damon Sun Rhodes

    This is in no way pointed or focusing on the story at hand, so I apologize ahead of time. But I believe that it is the media and the authorities that are turning this case into a racial issue. Look at the way it was handled. The police did not go get the perp but let him turn himself in on his own terms. The police report is the one saying it was a racial incident. Just look at how the media has published major crimes against Natives in the past three years as opposed to major crimes that involved a white man as the perp.

  4. Theresa Foster

    SKIP CROOKS is and never has been a rasist this whole this out is absolutely ridiclulous. Alcohlol and other things are to blame. HE IS A WONDERFUL MAN AND I AM OUTRAGED AT THIS ACCUJATION. ( HOW EVER YOU SPELL IT) IM MAD AS I COULD EVER BE…..

  5. Candi Clark Wilson

    While questioning friends and family I hope they were informed of the different races Skip has in just family along with many different races of friends. Keep your chin up Skip we love you

  6. Candi Clark Wilson

    While questioning friends and family I hope they were informed of the different races Skip has in just family along with many different races of friends. Keep your chin up Skip we love you

  7. Crystal Denke Jackson

    Everytime I read county 10, someone in Hudson has been arrested….Is there anyone living there that ISN'T in jail yet? It seems that there is a disconnect between the amount of "crime" in/from Hudson and the very few people who can possibly live there.

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