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Secret Service Agents in Bar Brawl (AP)

Associated Press Writer

March 2, 2002, 2:45 AM EST

SAN DIEGO -- An off-duty Secret Service agent in town to protect Vice President Dick Cheney bit off part of a man's ear during a brawl outside a bar last month, authorities said Friday.
The Feb. 18 fight outside the Daley Double Saloon north of San Diego involved four Secret Service agents who had finished their shift about three hours earlier, said Sgt. Rob Morse of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

"There was a lot of alcohol and testosterone flying," Morse said
Zachary Elson was treated at a local hospital after losing the tip of his right ear, Morse said. One agent suffered a broken nose, he said.
No one was arrested and no charges have been filed. The agents, who were armed, never identified themselves as members of the Secret Service, Morse said.

Morse said one of the agents was trying to pick up a woman in the bar in Encinitas, about 18 miles north of San Diego, and Elson "took offense" at something the agent had said to her.

"He's the one that initially got in the agent's face about the comments," he said. "If that hadn't happened, I don't think anything would have."
Detectives plan to present their report next week to the district attorney, who will decide what charges, if any, will be filed.

Jim Mackin, a spokesman for the Secret Service, would not discuss the fight in detail. He said the agents were back at work.

Elson's father, Ron, said he wanted to see the Secret Service agents prosecuted.

"My son is the one who lost part of his ear," he said.

Copyright © 2002, The Associated Press



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