GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Federal air marshals partying in Grand Rapids
are accused of punching and kicking at least two people outside of a downtown bar, leaving one man unconscious on the pavement.
"I didn't know at the time they were air marshals," says Cody Zink, who says one of the marshals kicked him in the groin area.
The marshals were apparently not in Grand Rapids on official business. In June, a group of them visited for the weekend to relax in a downtown hotel and enjoy the nightlife. They got into trouble after witnesses say one shoved a woman at an outdoor hot dog cart and punched a man trying to protect her.
"(The man) sucker punched him," Zink says. "(He) knocked him out in one hit. His face hit the pavement on the sidewalk. Then they started acting like they were going to start kicking him."
Zink and his friends asked the men to back away and let them help the unconscious, bleeding man on the pavement. He says that's when the suspects turned on them.
"I had my hands up saying, 'I'm not trying to start a fight,'" he said. "That's when the guy that was walking after me kicked me in the testicles. I went down immediately."
Federal air marshal Matthew Davids, a five-year veteran, and 27-year-old Jon Holdsworth are both facing misdemeanor assault charges. The Transportation Security Agency would not comment on the investigation or any marshal's current duty status.
"I was told they were both put on unpaid administrative leave as soon as the investigation began," says Zink.
The man knocked out for trying to assist the woman needed more than a dozen stitches and could lose his front teeth.
"I don't care if you are an air marshal or a hot dog vendor, you don't push a girl and attack two or three other people just because you are out having a good time," Zink said. "They are supposed to be protecting us."