Mammoth man arrested on allegations of assault and criminal threats



 Mammoth Lakes Man Arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapo

Christopher Alderfer

Christopher Alderfer

On Saturday, January 4 at approximately 11:40 p.m., Mammoth Lakes Police Officers responded to a call of an intoxicated man swinging a hatchet at patrons at The Tap bar located on Main Street.  When the first officer arrived, several people pointed to Christopher Alderfer, age 32, of Mammoth Lakes.  Alderfer was taken into custody without incident.

The officers’ investigation determined that Alderfer attempted to take a pitcher of beer outside the bar.  He was told several times by a security guard he could not do so.  At one point, Alderfer tried to physically force his way past the security guard to get the pitcher of beer outside.

Alderfer told the security guard ‘I’ll be right back!” and exited the bar.  He returned a short time later carrying a hatchet which he swung at the security guard and then began swinging it in a figure 8 in front of his body.  Alderfer threatened to kill the security officer as he swung the hatchet at him from approximately 3 feet away.  The security guard was able to avoid being struck.  Alderfer returned the hatchet to his vehicle before officers arrived.

Witnesses supported the security guard’s explanation and one overheard Alderfer say that the hatchet was a “throwing axe.”  Witnesses also described Alderfer threatening to thrown the axe at them.

Officers located the 15 inch hatchet.  Alderfer submitted to a breath test which showed his blood alcohol level was .26.  Alderfer was arrested and booked at Mono County Jail for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Exhibiting a Deadly Weapon, Criminal Threats, and Plain Drunk.



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41 Responses to Mammoth man arrested on allegations of assault and criminal threats

  1. Charles O. Jones January 6, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

    Alcohol and throwing axes don’t mix well.

  2. Casper Tidwell January 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

    I hope the Tap learned something about over serving patrons

    • I Love To Fish January 7, 2014 at 11:56 am #

      I seriously doubt he got that drunk in the tap on beer and wine.
      All the respectful drunks drink at Johns pizza/Outlaw saloon where the liquor is served, and because the tap has live music on the weekends most of the drunks mosey upstairs for the music.

  3. Wayne Deja January 6, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    Let’s all head up to Mammoth Lakes for a nice fun evening at one of the local taverns !!!

    • Trouble January 6, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

      You drive, I’ll buy Wayne.

      • Wayne Deja January 6, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

        Sorry,Trouble,but when I head north,my truck automatically goes past Mammoth and keeps right on going the extra 50 miles or so into Bridgeport….

        • Trouble January 7, 2014 at 6:36 am #

          Does Bridgeport have a bar?In the winter I have to laugh when I see that freezer outdoor outside that store. Is it really turned on?

    • sugarmagnolia January 6, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

      Don’t worry Wayne, we won’t miss you. I’ve done the bar scene in both Mammoth and bishop, come the closest to being beat up at Rustys by a drunk paiute once. Was at Rustys again one time when a bar brawl broke out. The worst I’ve seen in Mammoth was the bartenders boy friend trying to rough her up, we called the police on him.

      Essentially if you’re out partying at a bar, sometimes sht happens.

  4. Wayne Deja January 6, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    ….seriously,what the “authorities” should do is check the survallence cameras and see if this bartender served this guy alcohol, to the excess,leading to that .26 level….if so,besides throwing the book at the guy that was (allegedly) swinging the hatchet,charge the bartender,unless he came into the establishment hammered….If you serve bar patrons to the point of a .26 alcohol level,your asking for trouble….even drunks don’t want to be dealing with someone that drunk.

    • Joe January 6, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

      I’ll have to disagree with Casper and Wayne on this one. It’s not the bar’s responsibility to play mom and keep track of what and how much every single patron is drinking. Some bars are down right busy and the bartender is doing the best they can just to keep up. People buy drinks for others, drink more than their share out of the pitcher etc… Businesses have enough liability exposure already…

      • Dee January 7, 2014 at 8:15 am #

        It’s the responsibility of the bartender and the bar to NOT over-serve ANY customer. It’s the law and one too many incidents of this kind can place their license in jepardy as well as place the bartender and bar on legal trouble.
        A business that serves alcohol is liable for the actions of someone they over-serve.

        Wayne mentioned …”unless he came into the establishment hammered”.
        If a patron is already very drunk and is served in a bar, that bartender/ bar owns that drunk person’s actions not the establishemnt that previously served that person.

        • sugar magnolia January 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

          The Tap does not have a full liquor license, it’s beer and wine only. the barkeep may be keeping a watch on what he served the dude, but what a lot of people do at the Tap is popped down to the Outlaw Saloon (same building, but below the Tap and unrelated business wise) for a shot or two. Pretty much means the only way the Tap bartender can know to cut the guy off is if he sees him noticeably drunk, which is harder to do.

          • Casper Tidwell January 7, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

            more excuses, Is anyone responsible anymore, or are we just a country of blamers, excuses and finger pointers?

          • TMR January 7, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

            Actually there is in the code the comes with the liquor license (for beer and wine too) that the bartenders and staff MUST be trained to spot people who are “extremely intoxicated” which, with a .2+ this guy would be, and then the establishment staff, bartender included, must stop serving that patron. Many of the bars/places that serve alcohol in Mammoth are so trained and do a very good job making sure they meet their obligation–for their liability and for the best interest of the patron(s)–by being trained. It does not matter if the person got hammered somewhere else and came into your establishment. Dee is correct that it is the responsibility lies with the Tap not to serve to have served this patron. The guy had a pitcher of beer from the Tap. So, draw your own conclusions.

          • sugarmagnolia January 7, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

            I still maintain its a tough law to enforce… expects a person to drink a pitcher by themselves, you believe it is for multiple people…if they are sober enough to be served said pitcher, and then proceed to drink the whole thing themselves and maybe drink a shot or two downstairs (people are popping downstairs to smoke etc…so that movement is common)…at that point they are drunk beyond serving and the barkeep rightfully cuts them off….seems to me the barkeeps doing their job. The fact that the drunk person now goes and grabs an axe..not the barkeeps fault or responsibility.

            All they can do is not serve a visibly drunk person…if the person gets drunk easily or by drinking a pitcher by themselves (a vessel meant to be shared) or by drinking at another establishment,, not much the barkeep can do

            Personal responsibility people….don’t be blaming others for your actions!

          • Benett Kessler January 8, 2014 at 9:46 am #

            The District Attorney and courts will determine the outcome. Until then, it’s just so much speculation.
            Benett Kessler

          • Dee January 8, 2014 at 8:27 am #

            “Pretty much means the only way the Tap bartender can know to cut the guy off is if he sees him noticeably drunk, which is harder to do.”

            Yes, I already knew the Tap is beer and wine.
            Again, it’s the responsibility of the bartender to NOT over-serve anyone no matter how difficult it is to know how drunk someone is. If someone decides to become a bartender they should be ready to be held responsible for their over-serving……it’s the law.

        • sugar magnolia January 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

          so Dee, can you prove the bartender over served this patron? Quite possibly the person was only a little tipsy when they were served and then proceeded to drink an entire pitcher by himself.

          Or he was sober enough to be served the last time the bartender served him, but then he drank downstairs and came back up.

          See my point? The law may be clear, but identifying who served the man after he was too inebriated is not so clear. Therefore, it is a difficult law to enforce.

          • Benett Kessler January 8, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

            Like I said, this is so much speculation.

      • Tony Cumia January 7, 2014 at 8:34 am #

        Actually it is the responsibility of the barkeep. California ABC has classes to teach how to recognize intoxication…I doubt that the Tap can afford to send their employees to one of these classes. But the liability is there.

        • TMR January 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

          Classes are very inexpensive in Mono County. I think about $5.00 per person per year or maybe less.

      • Desert Tortoise January 7, 2014 at 8:38 am #

        Yes, of course, business people are always too busy with other things to be concerned about exercising a little discretion or some semblance of restraint. No, all they are ever expected to do is make money in every way possible. That excuses all other lapses of judgement. Do you understand how offensive your position is Joe are are you really that numb? Is making money your cocaine? Got green and to h3ll with every thing else? Nice.

        • Joe January 7, 2014 at 9:42 am #

          Proving a bar over served a patron is drawing straws. As I said, someone else could be buying for that person. How do they know that person isn’t on some type of medication that makes the person flip out after 2 beers and pull out a hatchet? As far as DT in Kern County, unless you are face to face with me, try to restrain your pathetic personal attacks.

          • Desert Tortoise January 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

            Yes,yes, of course there is always an excuse for bad judgement, especially if someone calling themselves a business person is involved. Repsonsiblity? What’s that?

      • Casper Tidwell January 7, 2014 at 10:20 am #

        I can only laugh at all Joe’s stupid excuses.

      • Wayne Deja January 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

        Joe….In any other town or city in America,it IS the responsibility of the bar or tavern not to serve drunk patrons….doesn’t matter if the place is busy or not…many times,when bartenders serve a drunk person all night long,and if the drunk drives away and causes an accident and kills someone,the bar and the bartender can be charged,or at least held somewhat responsible in a civil lawsuit….but probably not in Mammoth,where the nightlife attracts and even encourages those that get all rowdy and drunk and looking for that type of attention,trouble and drama….both inside the bar itself,and outside once the drunk parties leave their establishment of choice.

  5. Pedro January 6, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    Another Mammoth drug related violent crime! Where’s the zero tolerance posts? Wayne’s lonely here.

    • Trouble January 7, 2014 at 6:30 am #

      People can go nuts with or without drugs and booze.

  6. 2 cents January 7, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Nothing new.

  7. DESCO January 7, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    Every person who sells, furnishes, gives or causes to be sold, furnished or given away, any alcoholic beverages to any habitual drunkard, or to any obviously intoxicated person is guilty of a misdemeanor. (Section 25602)

    California law.

  8. Mongo The Idiot January 7, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    I’m my own bartender; if I over-serve myself I feel like a rubber trashcan that has been run over by a bus the next day.
    If I drive drunk I fully hope to see my MUGG on SW media.
    A punishment worse than death.
    Life in the public eye.

  9. Dan Watson January 7, 2014 at 11:26 am #

    The California Business and Professions (B&P) Code establishes rules and regulations for Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) licensed locations and their employees. Section 25602(a) states, “Every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage to any habitual or common drunkard, or to any obviously intoxicated person is guilty of a misdemeanor.” This section applies to bartenders and servers. It is their responsibilty to be aware of the sobriety of the person served and not only can criminal sanctions apply, ABC licenses can be suspended or revoked for violations.

    Representatives from the Mono County Department of Behavioral Health and I will be presenting “Responsible Beverage Server” training on January 15 and 16 at 1 pm. This training is designed to help bartenders and servers recognize the signs of intoxication and how to deal with them, along with recognizing underage drinkers and handling them. Other topics of importance to ABC licensed employees will be covered. All ABC licensed locations are notified and encouraged to send their employees. More information can be obtained by contacting the Department of Behaviorial Health.

    • Desert Tortoise January 8, 2014 at 11:56 am #

      Too bad Foster Brooks is dead or you could use him for some role playing.

  10. johnjcampnfish January 7, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    Anyone know the penalty for a “plain drunk” conviction? I’ve never heard of that law. Is it unique to Mammoth? I’d hate to be arrested for plain drunk when I don’t even know what it is.

    • Trouble January 8, 2014 at 7:56 am #

      I know, go see a shrink for two grand, get told know one can help you but yourself, then go to a free AA meeting where you might get some help.

  11. Dan Watson January 7, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

    The elements of 647 F of the Penal Code are being drunk in a public place and being unable to care for yourself or property. It’s commonly referred to as being “Drunk in Public” or “Plain Drunk,” to distinguish it from crimes as Driving Under the Influence, commonly called Drunk Driving.

    • Joe January 8, 2014 at 10:33 am #

      My point is there is a lot of ambiguity in the law to distinguish between the free will of a person to purchase something and the ability of the establishment to be held responsible for that purchase. What if that person is not “obviously intoxicated” and still has a BAC exceeding the legal limit and kills someone driving home?

      Bartenders soon find out who the habitual drunkards are but in a town like Mammoth which caters to lots of tourists, one doesn’t know who the “habitual drunkards” are. Once someone leaves an establishment, who is to say they don’t have a flask under the seat etc, etc, etc and then gets in an accident…. is the establishment still to blame? You see where I’m going. Not excuses. Why can’t people take responsibility for their own actions but instead in this sue everyone society we have to pass the blame to someone else (the bar)?? The law is the law but any competent defense attorney will likely easily protect the tavern.

      • Charles O. Jones January 8, 2014 at 11:58 am #

        I would agree that we should take responsibility for our own actions – and that would include the establishments that make a handsome profit from selling alcohol to customers.

        • Deseert Tortoise January 9, 2014 at 8:46 am #

          A liquor license is almost a license to print money. Bar tenders and bar owners can afford to exercise some discretion.

  12. Mike from The Tap January 16, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    I work at the bar and was there when it happened. the guy is a long time local thats always been cool. He did order a pitcher of beer. He drank half. so yeah he prolly came in drunk which is not always easy to tell if the guy just hit his flask in his car 1 minute before or was one medication.

    When he came back with the ax we thought he was joking. Like i said hes a local and has always been cool.

    So who knows what his problem/problems were. I can’t speculate.

    My staff is trained. They all went to the class 2 years ago. Chief Watson trained them. We dont over serve and we constantly have to kick people out that come in drunk.


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