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Custer man facing assault charges for apparent accidental shooting of friend trying to stop him from driving drunk

Posted: 3:13 PM, Jul 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-17 17:22:50-04
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Rafael Oyola-Sanchez

BILLINGS- A Custer man is facing felony assault charges after prosecutors said he accidentally shot his friend in the hand early Tuesday morning following a nearly half-day bender at a nearby bar.

Rafael Juan Oyola-Sanchez, 33, was arrested and booked into Yellowstone County jail Wednesday on suspicion of assault with a weapon and criminal mischief. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the most serious crime.

Here’s what allegedly happened at the Junction City Saloon, as prosecutors outlined in charging documents:

Oyola-Sanchez and a friend had started drinking at the bar around 2:30 p.m. Monday, got into a fistfight over a song on the radio that night, then continued drinking.

Oyola-Sanchez then decided to drive home, and his friend and the bartender tried to stop him. He left angry, punched, the glass door of the bar, then returned with a set of keys.

The friend tried to wrestle Oyola-Sanchez down to stop him from driving inside the bar, then continued his efforts outside. The friend tried to push Oyola-Sanchez’s fiance’s vehicle, saw he had a gun in his hand, then tried to grab it from his hand.

The gun went off and hit the man’s hand, and he was later taken to Billings Clinic for treatment. Oyola-Sanchez’s fiance drove him home.

Yellowstone County deputies went to Oyola-Sanchez’s and found a handgun smeared with dried blood in his pocket.  His fiance told deputies the blood was Oyola-Sanchez’s from punching a fish tank when he arrived home.

The owner of the Junction City Saloon also estimated damage to the bar door was $500.

Oyola-Sanchez’s bail has not been set.