Phoenix officer charged in Prescott bar fight

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- A Phoenix police officer has been charged with assault for his role in a Prescott bar fight that left a man bloodied and bruised.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced the misdemeanor charge Friday against Eric Amato. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Oct. 10 in Yavapai County Superior Court.

Amato and other members of a law enforcement motorcycle club had been holding their Christmas party on Prescott's Whiskey Row before a fight broke out at one of the bars.

Amato has told authorities that he hit Justin Stafford because Stafford made an aggressive move.

The state Department of Public Safety recommended charges against Amato and others. Amato is the only one charged.

Phoenix police say Amato is working a non-enforcement assignment and is under investigation by the department.