Mammoth man arrested after swinging hatchet at bar patrons

On Saturday, Jan. 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, according to the police. When the first officer arrived, several people pointed to Christopher Alderfer, 32, Mammoth Lakes.

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 eight pattern in front of his body. Alderfer threatened to kill the security officer as he swung the hatchet at him from approximately three 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 taken into custody without incident and booked at Mono County Jail for charges that included assault with a deadly weapon, exhibiting a deadly weapon, criminal threats, and drunk in public.