Christopher Kuep, wanted for the beating of an Army veteran at a Lakewood pool room, was caught by Pierce County Sheriff's deputies Saturday night at his home in Parkland.
Todd Hotis spent 19 years in the Army before retiring last year as a Master Sergeant. He was at a bar in Lakewood with his son-in-law last week, reminiscing about Trooper Tony Radulescu, an old Army buddy, when a fight broke out, and Hotis was beaten so brutally he thought he was going to die.
“Right now I can’t sit up for very long periods of time because the pain radiates around my head,” Hotis said. “It starts making me feel nauseous and sick.”
A Purple Heart recipient who lived through a rocket attack in Iraq, Hotis said he has never experienced anything like this.
“I was hit by a 122 mm Katyusha a rocket and blown through a wall. I walked away and was on mission the next day,” Hotis said. “Here, I’m not back on mission the next day.”
His head hurts because Hotis was struck there repeatedly by pool cues. He claims he losts his chalk, and when he asked two nearby men if they had seen it, the men began beating him. Hotis remembers being stunned initially, and then defending himself.
“I threw him through a table, I think, to try and get him off, and from there it was pretty much flashes of black, hitting me over and over.”
Other people in the bar kept Hotis` son-in-law from helping him.
“He took mulitple, we’re talking like 30 times minimum where he was struck in the back of his head,” said his son-in-law Vincent Valentino Rivera. “All over his body, all over his legs, on his arms.”
When the fight ended, Hotis was left with wounds everywhere.
“I took a lot in the head because i still have tons of swelling and my neck pain,” Hotis said. “You know it feels like permanent whiplash.”
Police say one of the men who attacked Hotis was Christopher James Kuep, who remains on the lose and should be considered dangerous. Police believe that he is still in the Lakewood area. If you know where he is, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Gary Ellis Edwards, 22, is another person of interest.