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Dexter police officer in hospital following assault Monday night
DEXTER, Mo. -- A Dexter police officer was airlifted to a St. Louis hospital Monday night after he was assaulted while trying to break up a fight.
Kevin Moore, a veteran officer of the Dexter Police Department, was taken by helicopter from Missouri Southern Healthcare in Dexter to St. Louis University Hospital after sustaining a facial fracture.
Three individuals were arrested following the incident.
Austin Mace, 20, of Dexter has been booked in the Stoddard County Jail and is charged with assault of a law enforcement officer. He faces a $250,000 cash-only bond and is scheduled for arraignment Thursday morning.
According to the probable cause affidavit filed in Stoddard County court by Det. Cory Mills, at 7:31 p.m. Monday, Moore and Lt. Larry Patterson responded to a fight in progress on the parking lot west of McDonald's. Moore arrived shortly before Patterson and found a large crowd of people watching a fight between Aaron Mace, Austin Mace and Terry Mace.
Moore then reportedly ordered Terry Mace, father of the other two, to stop fighting. It was at this point that Moore was reportedly shoved by him. Moore then fired his stun gun at the senior Mace, who fell to the ground.
As Patterson began approaching Mace in an attempt to handcuff him, he saw Austin Mace rushing from the crowd "swinging wildly" at Moore with his fists, the affidavit said. Moore, who did not see Austin Mace approaching, was punched in the left side of his face. The punch reportedly left Moore unconscious before he fell and struck the edge of a concrete sidewalk with the other side of his face.
Patterson immediately placed Austin Mace in custody before directing his attention to Moore, who was unresponsive and bleeding from the right side of his face.
An ambulance transported Moore to Missouri Southern Healthcare where he was stabilized before being airlifted to St. Louis.
The father, Terry Mace, is also in jail, charged with second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer. His bond is set at $25,000 cash only.
During an interview with Mills, Austin Mace reportedly admitted to striking Moore. He said the fight stemmed from an incident involving money stolen the night before. When he saw the officer hit his father with a stun gun, Austin Mace said, he ran to protect him and struck Moore. He said he then "blacked out." In a statement to police, Austin Mace admitted to having difficulty controlling his anger.
Austin Mace wrote a letter to officer Moore on Monday night apologizing for the incident and asking for his forgiveness, stating that he realizes now he was only doing his job.
Police Chief Sammy Stone said Moore was doing "somewhat better." His wife, Angel, told police that the fracture above his right eye is not causing any harm to his brain and that no neck or spinal problems have been diagnosed.
Stone said the injury appears to be from the fall and not the punch. The fractured bone is one that protects the sinus cavity, not the skull. While it is indeed broken, no definite course of action had yet been determined.