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Bend man Nick Ricks sues Omar Araim for physical, emotional damages from 2018 New Year's Day incident

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Omar AraimA Bend man who was a victim of a shooting on New Year's Day two years ago in a Prineville bar is suing his attacker, Prineville man Omar Araim, for more than $21 million.

Nick Ricks filed a lawsuit in Crook County Circuit Court last week, seeking compensation for health complications and physical and mental problems stemming from the shooting, which left him paralyzed from the waist down.

According to the filed complaint, while Ricks was at Crossroads BBQ Pit and Pub late at night on Dec. 31, 2017, a verbal altercation broke out among several women. Two of the women involved were Araim's girlfriend and a friend of Ricks' wife. During the altercation, Araim's girlfriend reportedly slapped the friend.

Later that night, at about 1:15 a.m., another altercation broke out between Araim's girlfriend and several women, the complaint states, and during that fight she slapped and pushed one of the women in the group.

Ricks tried to break up the fight and while all of this was happening, Araim left the bar and went to his car and retrieved a handgun. He went back in the bar with the gun and approached the group. After Ricks had finished breaking up the altercation, Araim shot Ricks several times in the back.

Ricks suffered multiple injuries in the shooting, including damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and other soft tissue of the thorax, abdomen, internal organs, thoracic spine, lumbar region and his right arm. The gunshot wounds shattered his L1 and L2 vertebrae, causing complete paralysis of the bladder, bowel, pelvis and legs.

Ricks has needed multiple surgeries because of the wounds, the complaint states, and he is permanently catheterized. He regularly deals with severe pain, has trouble sleeping and is suffering from several emotional distress, anxiety and depression.

He is seeking up to $15 million in noneconomic damages and up to $6.5 million in economic damages.

Araim was sentenced on Dec. 21, 2018, to 80 months in prison for first-degree assault after initially facing charges of attempted murder. According to Crook County District Attorney Wade Whiting, during the sentencing hearing, Ricks "spoke about how he can't hold any ill will or anger in his heart and how it won't do him any good going forward."

Whiting added that Araim showed remorse for his actions during the sentence.

"He said he apologized from the bottom of his heart and said he has given a lot of thought to why he acted out the way he did that day," Whiting said. "He didn't have a real strong explanation, but he wanted to convey that he was sorry for what happened."


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