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Wedding guests sent to jail for fighting at reception

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 | 2:00 p.m. CDT; updated 4:32 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Six people were sent to jail after a fight outside of a suburban St. Louis wedding reception during the weekend.

St. Charles police said the incident happened Saturday night in the parking lot of the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles.

Police said officers arrived to find Michael Williams, the 33-year-old brother of the groom, lying on the ground with James Skaggs, 31, punching him in the face.

Officers used a stun gun to subdue Skaggs when he allegedly refused to stop.

Police said that prompted Skaggs’ sister, Susan Swim, 35, to jump on the back of an officer. All three were arrested.

Joyce Skaggs of Cedar Hill told The Associated Press on Monday that her son did not start the fight with Williams. She said James Skaggs was hit from behind and knocked to the ground by one of two men Williams brought to the wedding reception.

She said when police arrived, James Skaggs was on top of his attacker. She said her daughter was trying to get the officer’s attention to call paramedics because her brother has a seizure disorder.

STLtoday.com, the Web site for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, originally reported that the groom was arrested, but St. Charles Police Sgt. Donovan Kenton said he was not.

Also cited was Richard Farney. A witness told police that Farney, Williams and another wedding guest, Joshua Jackson, 20, started the fight.

Jackson tried to run away but was arrested a block from the reception after trying to punch and kick an officer, police said. He faces additional charges of assaulting a police officer, possession of a controlled substance, property damage and resisting arrest. He also has numerous outstanding warrants.

Williams, Farney, Skaggs, Swim and Shane Bird were charged with misdemeanor fighting in public. Swim also was charged with assaulting and interfering with a law enforcement officer.

A motive for the fight was unknown.


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