Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel CEO Francis SiJohn was arrested on Tuesday morning on allegations of battery. According to a report in the Spokesman-Review, police say that the victim of the attack was his brother, former Coeur d’Alene tribal police Chief Cody SiJohn.
According to court documents, the incident began after the two brothers had been drinking together in Spokane, where an argument ensued. Cody told police that he returned to his Post Falls home and that Francis said he would be “bringing guys.”
In Cody’s account, a car pulled up to his home about five minutes later. When he walked outside to investigate, two men struck him: his brother Francis, as well as a boy, whose identity has not been released in public reporting.
Police Stop Car Soon After Incident
Cody’s wife, Denise SiJohn, saw the incident from inside their home, and called the local police to report the attack. It was on the way to their home that a police officer notice a vehicle that matched the description of the car that had pulled up to the SiJohn home.
The officer reported that the vehicle did not have its taillights on, and pulled it over. The boy alleged to be involved in the attack was driving the car, with Francis also in the vehicle as a passenger.
It didn’t take long for the officer to suspect that Francis was the man he was looking for. According to their report, Francis couldn’t open his eye, and the left side of his face was swollen. In addition, the report notes that there was blood on his face, hands, and pants.
When asked by the officer what had happened, Francis would only say that he was involved in a “tangle.” Later, a pair of nunchucks was found in the vehicle.
The two men were arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor battery. The boy would be sent to Kootenai County Juvenile Detention Center, while Francis posted bond after being held in Kootenai County Jail. According to Denise SiJohn, a third man was involved in the attack, but she was unable to identify him.
Prominent Member of Tribe with Long Record of Service
Francis SiJohn was named the CEO of the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel in September 2016. Before taking that position, he had worked at the casino for a decade. His most recent position before becoming the chief executive was Guest Services Coordinator. He also twice served as a tribal council member, and served as the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s vice chairman from 2005-2006.
“When we first opened our casino, we had a vision for what gaming would mean for our Tribe,” the Tribe wrote in a press release announcing his appointment. “We are confident that Francis will help us to advance that vision.”
In terms of the casino’s performance, Francis seemed to be living up to his new position. In October, the resort was named Best Casino Resort of the Year by Universal Media in the publication’s Corporate Travel Awards.
“We are honored to be named best casino resort of the year,” Francis said in response to the award. “It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees and the support of our community.”