Fight in Graton Casino parking lot leaves man in critical condition

A Lake County man was arrested following a violent altercation over the weekend at the Graton Casino that left a Santa Rosa man in critical condition at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Morgan Lewis Jr., 44, got into an argument with several men after the door of the SUV they were in struck his truck, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s office said. County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene at 11:36 p.m. Saturday, and the fight already had ended.

Sheriff’s officials said Monday in a prepared statement that during the argument Lewis was punched in the face by one of the men and his girlfriend was pushed to the ground. Neither Lewis nor his girlfriend “requested prosecution for the assault because they were not sure exactly which person had assaulted them,” officials said.

Sgt. Spencer Crum, a sheriff’s spokesman, said deputies left the scene at 12:03 a.m. Sunday but they were called back there 10 minutes later after a report of another fight, he said.

When deputies arrived, they learned Lewis approached one of the men he thought was involved in the earlier altercation and shoved him backwards. The victim hit his head on the concrete sidewalk and was unconscious and unresponsive.

Crum said video shows Lewis using his forearm to shove the victim backward.

A family member of the victim, who initially contacted The Press Democrat and disputed some of the details in the sheriff’s news release, said family members were advised by their legal counsel not to comment on the incident.

The casino also declined comment, referring questions to the Sheriff’s Office.

Lewis was booked into the Sonoma County Jail early Sunday on suspicion of felony assault causing great bodily injury and released a short time later on $35,000 bail.

Sheriff’s officials want anyone who witnessed either of these incidents at the Graton Casino Saturday night to please contact Det. Diehm at 707-565-2185.

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