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MPD

Photo by Michelle Chance

A report of trouble in a house on Portarosa Drive in Glennwilde brought out both Maricopa Police Department and Maricopa Fire/Medical Department Monday.

The home’s occupant spoke to the police without incident.

“We made phone contact with him and he came out,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said, “but units smelled smoke and called fire to check the house out.”

MFMD spokesman Capt. Brad Pitassi also said his department had been called to the location on a report of someone with difficulty breathing.

Officers initially thought smoke might be coming from a bedroom after the house was cleared and the man was being transported to the station, but nothing was found.

MPD blocked the street to traffic. There were no injuries reported.

A near head-on collision on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway Thursday resulted in a flipped vehicle and a trapped driver but no life-threatening injuries, according to Maricopa Police Department.

The incident happened after 6 p.m. east of the intersection with White and Parker Road.

MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said a westbound vehicle crossed over the center line and hit an eastbound vehicle.

“The westbound vehicle from the impact lost control and flipped over,” Alvarado said. “The driver of the westbound car was trapped.”

That driver was extricated by Maricopa Fire/Medical Department. While that work was going on, MPD shut down traffic between White and Parker Road and Murphy Road. The roadway was reopened around 8 p.m.

“The driver of the westbound vehicle was cited for failure to maintain one lane and transported to Chandler with non-life-threatening injuries,” Alvarado said. “The driver of the eastbound car was not injured.”


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Kenneth Davis. PCSO photo

The Maricopa Police Department assisted in taking a sexual assault suspect into custody last week.

Kenneth Marzette Davis Jr., 27, was arrested May 3 at a home on West Griffis Drive in The Villages after the Avondale Police Department requested help from MPD.

Davis reportedly has a nationwide, extraditable warrant issued out of Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office in Cleveland, Ohio, according to an MPD report.

“It was stated they had an open sexual assault case they were investigating and wanted to interview (Davis),” the report states.

Avondale detectives interviewed Davis after his arrest. He was later transported to the Pinal County Adult Detention Facility.

Davis was booked on the outstanding warrant and a sexual assault charge, a class 2 felony.

A Pinal County Superior Court judge will decide Davis’ bond eligibility May 10. The suspect’s extradition status will be heard in court the next day.

Multiple witnesses at a local tavern reported observing a man “placing his hands on or around the throat” of a juvenile over the weekend.

The Maricopa Police Department arrested William Bentley May 5 on suspicion of two aggravated assault charges related to strangulation against a minor, child abuse and endangerment.

The incident reportedly occurred at approximately 7:27 p.m. at True Grit Tavern, 20800 N. John Wayne Parkway.

According to witnesses, the child had been with his mother and two other juveniles at the establishment since 11 a.m.

Hours later, Bentley gave a statement to police after being read his Miranda rights.

“He said when he got to the bar where his girlfriend and the three juveniles (were), including the victim, they had dinner and the victim was ‘acting up,’ so they decided to leave,” according to the police report.

Witnesses told police the mother and Bentley yelled and screamed at the victim inside the bar.

Bentley said the child became disruptive. He allegedly admitted to grabbing the child, taking him behind a pillar and holding the victim’s wrists against that pillar.

Statements from the day-shift waitress and other tavern witnesses to the incident expand beyond Bentley’s account.

“(The witness) said Bentley had his hands around the juvenile’s throat and the juvenile was lifted off the ground,” the report states.

One witness said she ran to the pillar and yelled at Bentley to put the child down.

Crews transported the boy for a medical evaluation. The victim allegedly told medical staff Bentley “placed his hands around his throat and lifted him up,” according to the report.

The victim also informed medics of throat pain and sore arms.

Submitted photo

After more than two years of fund-raising, a memorial monument is about to be unveiled at the Maricopa Police Substation at Copper Sky.

The fallen officer memorial dedication is May 14 at 7 a.m. at 17985 N. Greythorn Drive. MPD and the Maricopa Police Foundation are inviting the community to attend.

The Foundation started selling memorial bricks in 2016 for $100-$350 to help fund the monument. The memorial area can hold up to 6,000 paver bricks.

The memorial bricks were introduced “to honor the memory of a lost friend, family or loved one or honor the career of an officer.”

Marcos Martinez is accused of the brutal murder of Vicky Ten Hoven. (photos PCSO/Facebook)

The man accused of killing his grandmother earlier this year will undergo a mental examination to determine his competency to stand trial.

Pinal County Superior Court Judge Dwight Callahan ordered Marcos Jerell Martinez to a “full Rule 11 examination” in court Wednesday morning.

Martinez, with a full beard and long hair, appeared in a brown jumpsuit for his hearing May 2, but his cooperation with counsel has apparently been an issue.

Callahan recently approved a motion by the defense team to visit with their client at the door of his jail cell after concerns were filed that Martinez repeatedly “denies or refuses” to meet with attorneys, according to court documents filed in April.

The first-degree murder suspect submitted to a rule 11 pre-screening in March where a doctor recommended a full examination.

The state and the public defender’s office both nominated psychologists to fulfill the order.

Those results are expected to be reviewed in court June 27 at 9 a.m.

After the mental examination review hearing this summer, attorneys for Martinez are expected to file a motion to remand the case to a second grand jury for a new probable cause determination.

A grand jury indicted Martinez in February of premediated first-degree murder, punishable by death or life in prison, after the Maricopa Police Department forwarded additional charges of tampering with evidence and unlawful use of means of transportation in the same case. Martinez is held in the Pinal County Detention Center on a $1 million secured bond.

Martinez stands accused in the Jan. 28 blunt-force trauma death of Vicky Ten Hoven in Rancho El Dorado.


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Humberto Martinez-Herrera. PCSO photo

A domestic dispute in the Villages resulted in an arrest after police reportedly discovered a semi-automatic rifle and other firearms in the home of a prohibited possessor.

Officers with the Maricopa Police Department arrested Humberto Martinez-Herrera, 39, April 23 at approximately 11 p.m. after his wife placed an emergency call alleging her husband was intoxicated in their garage and was refusing to turn down the volume of his music.

Martinez-Herrera is reportedly a felon who is not permitted to own firearms, according to an MPD report.

Upon arrival on West Oster Drive, law enforcement interviewed Martinez-Herrera in the garage where he gave police permission to search for the guns. The report alleges MPD found one AR-15 rifle, one scoped rifle, one shotgun and a loaded pistol “within (Martinez-Herrera)’s reach in the garage.”

Police also discovered several rounds of ammunition in plain view, according to the report. Martinez-Herrera originally told police the guns belonged to his brother.

The report states he admitted to never restoring his right to possess firearms.

Martinez-Herrera eventually told police he purchased the AR-15 at a local gun show and recently fired it at a local gun range, according to the report.

The suspect’s wife also provided a digital image to officers that purportedly showed Martinez-Herrera shooting the rifle at the range.

Police forwarded one class 4 felony charge of weapons misconduct against Martinez-Herrera for “possessing a deadly weapon or prohibited weapon if such person is a prohibited possessor.”


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Photo by Mason Callejas

A man initially accused of firing a weapon toward The Duke at Rancho El Dorado was cited and released Wednesday.

Identified as Arbray Beshear, he was taken into custody at his home in Desert Park Court when a neighbor complained he was shooting a gun from the back side of his house. Maricopa Police determined the weapon was a pellet rifle, according to MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado.

Beshear, described in his 70s, was cited with as-yet-unidentified misdemeanor charges and not booked after officers discussed the case with the Pinal County Attorney’s office, Alvarado said.

A neighbor called police Wednesday morning with a report of shots fired near the golf course and also alleged Beshear had made threats when told to stop shooting. MPD responded by blocking streets in the area of the incident until they made contact with Beshear and took him into custody.

Undray Crew (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa man is facing multiple charges of disorderly conduct and indecent exposure after he reportedly stripped his clothes and ran through a neighbor’s backyard in Senita last week.

The incident began April 18 when officers responded to a domestic dispute on North Tonya Street at 9:40 a.m.

Family members told police Undray Crew, 40, had been violent toward his brother and mother. Crew was also accused of attempting to throw a metal bench into the family home’s sliding glass door and shattering a side window with his fist.

A Maricopa Police Department report stated Crew disrobed and left the residence when he got word law enforcement was on its way.

Crew then allegedly jumped a neighbor’s fence and ran through the backyard.

MPD received “multiple” calls about a man running nude, including one neighbor who reported to be “alarmed by the sight of (Crew’s) nakedness.”

Police forwarded 10 charges against Crew, including two counts of domestic violence assault, domestic violence criminal damage, six counts of disorderly conduct and one count of indecent exposure.

Photo by Mason Callejas

A garage fire threatened a home at 46058 W. Morning View Lane.

According to Deputy Fire Marshal Eddie Rodriguez, two people were in the house and made it out safely. There is still a search for four animals.

The fire call came in at 10:09 a.m. It was initially reported as a vehicle fire. A dozen fire and medical units responded to the scene. Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said 11 MPD units responded.

MFMD Assistant Chief John Storm said the American Red Cross and a local church are provided aid to the residents.

 

Joshua Paulsen (left) and County Attorney Kent Volkmer present Tyler Pappas with an award during Crime Victims Rights Week. Photo by Michelle Chance

Tyler Pappas grew up admiring his grandfather’s career in law enforcement and consumed his stories of comradery and bravery.

“It kind of stuck with me,” he said.

Pappas, now 26 years old, recently concluded his first year as an officer with the Maricopa Police Department.

His rookie year on the force has not gone without notice. In fact, it’s being celebrated.

Pappas was one of 11 law enforcement personnel recognized by the Pinal County Attorney’s Office April 10 at the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Law Enforcement Appreciation event.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is April 8-14.

“He definitely has an extra something special,” said Mary Witkofski, MPD Community Programs Manager.

Witkofski presented an award to Pappas for his compassionate behavior toward crime victims.

Pappas regularly stops by MPD’s victim services unit to fill a bag with stuffed animals and care items for adolescent crime victims, Witkofski told a room filled with county officers, prosecutors and Sheriff Mark Lamb.

The acts of kindness are something Pappas learned from a Chandler Police officer who comforted him as a child when he was exposed to his father’s alleged abusive behavior toward his mother.

Tyler Pappas. Photo by Michelle Chance

“Seeing that growing up gives me an edge and an insight on how to deal with other people that have been in my shoes,” Pappas said after the ceremony.

The officer who helped Pappas as a child left a lasting impression.

“(Pappas) is paying the acts forward from what he received as a child, and that’s so inspirational,” Witkofski said.

The young lawman is already excelling in his career in ways beyond his recent accolade.

Pappas said he recently made MPD’s Special Response Team.

He encourages crime victims who may be weary of law enforcement to give officers a chance.

“Reach out to us and let us show our true heart and our true side,” Pappas said. “Yes, we wear the uniform, but we’re human as well. We all go through stuff in life.”

Mary Witkofski. Photo by Michelle Chance

Police informed a local homeowner last week that two people had been illegally living in a structure attached to their home in the Heritage District.

It’s not known how long Crystal Tow, 37, and Carl Schwarz, 36, allegedly lived in the “storage closet” on North Condrey Avenue, but now they are both facing trespassing charges.

The couple had not been discovered until April 5 when the Maricopa Police Department responded to a report of possible trespassing. That’s when officers purportedly found Tow and Schwarz arguing in the backyard of the residence around 6:45 a.m.

“Carl stated he and Crystal had been living in the attached storage closet in the back of the home, as they had been kicked out of their previous residence,” the police report stated.

Drugs allegedly also were discovered.

A search of Tow’s purse and backpack revealed syringes and glass pipes, two of which tested positive for fentanyl and methamphetamine, according to the report.

Police allege Tow admitted to using methamphetamine the morning of her arrest and knowing she and Schwarz did not have permission to live on the property.

The homeowner was unaware of the uninvited guests because the house was uninhabited while it underwent renovations.

MPD forwarded first-degree criminal trespassing charges – class 6 felonies — against Tow and Schwarz after their arrests at approximately 7:33 a.m.

Tow is also tagged with additional charges of third-degree burglary, a class 4 felony; possession of a dangerous drug, a class 4 felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class 6 felony.

Both were later transported to the Pinal County Jail.

Two young people were treated on scene by first responders. Photo by Mason Callejas

An collision snarled traffic at a busy intersection Thursday afternoon as schools were dismissing classes.

Maricopa Police Department reported no serious injuries, though two juveniles in one of the vehicles complained of stomach pain and were treated on scene at Honeycutt and Porter roads.

According to MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado, a southbound van on Porter collided with a northbound Jeep trying to turn left onto Honeycutt Road. The juveniles were passengers in the Jeep. The investigation became a matter of what color the north-south traffic lights were.

Photo by Mason Callejas

“The driver of the Jeep stated the light was red,” Alvarado said. “The driver of the van said the light was yellow. An independent witness at the scene said the light was green.”

Police sided with the independent witness and cited the Jeep driver for causing an accident.

Neither vehicle sustained serious damage and both were able to be driven from the scene. 


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After a young boy went missing from a babysitter's home on Michaels Drive, MPD forwarded charges.

Olivia Merolli, the unlicensed daycare provider who admits to losing a 2-year-old from her home in February, could face legal trouble.

The Maricopa Police Department forwarded one charge of “child or vulnerable adult abuse” against Merolli to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office after the investigation ended in March.

If PCAO pursues the recommendation, Merolli could face a minimum of 2.5 years behind bars if convicted of the class 3 felony for recklessly endangering the health or welfare of a child.

Additionally, MPD submitted its investigation into Merolli’s in-home daycare operation to Arizona Department of Health Services, the agency that regulates childcare facilities.

The police investigation alleges Merolli told officers she was caring for 14 children, ranging from 9 months old to 4 years old, in her Rancho El Dorado home the day the child went missing for two hours on Feb. 20.

A childcare provider supervising five children or more must be licensed by the state.

The MPD report alleges Merolli said “she already knew she wasn’t supposed to have 14 children at her residence, but she didn’t attempt to hide that (from officers).”

As previously reported, Merolli said she wasn’t aware the 2-year-old boy was gone from the home until his father arrived to pick him up. She could not be reached for comment on this story.

The report said landscapers found the child 0.2 miles from Merolli’s home – an estimated 3-minute walk.

Steven Ross, the boy’s father, said he and his girlfriend will pursue civil damages against Merolli.

“We’re also going to be pursuing a lawsuit for emotional distress and pain and suffering and anything else we can,” Ross said.

Merolli allegedly told officers during the investigation that her other clients were aware the child had gone missing while under her care, but they “will continue to use her services.”


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Kourtney Burlison (PCSO photo)

Police say they found dangerous drugs on a woman they found sleeping behind a dumpster Monday.

Kourtney Burlison, 29, was arrested on suspicion of criminal trespassing and possession of meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia outside Fry’s Marketplace March 26 at approximately 7:33 a.m.

A Maricopa Police Department report stated the drugs were in “unmeasurable quantities” and were found along with two glass pipes inside Burlison’s sweatshirt pocket. Officers found Burlison after responding to a call for a welfare check on a person sleeping behind a Fry’s dumpster.

Burlison was reportedly trespassed from Fry’s Marketplace Feb. 21 and had two shoplifting citations filed against her in the Maricopa Municipal Court in February and March.

The officer arrested Burlison on the trespassing charge. A subsequent search of Burlison by the officer produced “two glass pipes with burnt residue, one small baggy of green substance later positively tested for marijuana and a small bag with a small clear rock later positively tested for methamphetamine,” according to the report.

After being read her Miranda rights, Burlison reportedly invoked her right to remain silent.

MPD transported Burlison to the Pinal County Jail where she could face a maximum penalty of six years behind bars, if convicted on all charges.

Alisha Lewis (PCSO photo)

An alleged argument over rent led to an assault charge and jail time for a Maricopa woman Monday evening.

The Maricopa Police Department responded to a residence on North Miller Way in the Maricopa Meadows subdivision March 19 around 6:26 p.m.

Alisha Lewis, 30, told officers she confronted her female roommate about a rent payment earlier that evening.

“(Lewis) further stated she became angry with (the victim) and admitted she initiated a physical fight with (the victim),” the report alleges.

The reporting officer noted multiple abrasions on the victim’s face, as well as a small scratch under her left eye.

Lewis, who has no prior violence convictions, was booked into Pinal County Jail on charges of assault, a class 1 misdemeanor; and disorderly conduct, also a class 1 misdemeanor.

Lewis remains in custody at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center in Florence.


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Andres Ortega (PCSO photo)

Police arrested a man last week for allegedly assaulting an officer at a local restaurant.

Andres Alonso Ortega, 37, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault against a peace officer and resisting arrest March 14 at Domino’s Pizza, 20046 N. John Wayne Parkway.

A caller prompted help from the Maricopa Police Department at 9:58 p.m., alleging Ortega was being “very aggressive” and was “threatening to beat them.”

The report doesn’t identify whether the caller was a Domino’s employee or customer.

Ortega was highly intoxicated, combative and “verbally assaultive” with officers once they arrived, according to the report.

Maricopa Fire/Medical Department also arrived to assist Ortega, who the report states was complaining of stomach pain.

The report alleges Ortega hit an officer’s hand “in an aggressive manner” while the officer attempted to assist him in receiving medical attention from MF/MD.

Ortega then refused to get inside a patrol vehicle and “had to be hobbled in order to be transported,” according to the report. Hobbling is a restraint used by law enforcement to secure a person’s wrists and ankles behind their back.

Police transported Ortega to Banner Casa Grande Medical Center for a medical evaluation for his stomach pain before eventually booking him into Pinal County Jail.

Ortega has a lengthy arrest sheet, including prior arrests for aggravated assault against a peace officer and resisting arrest in 2011. The assault charge was dismissed by the court, according to Pinal County Superior Court documents.

Ortega pled guilty to disorderly conduct (fighting) in 2017 and a subsequent domestic violence complaint was dismissed in Maricopa.

In 2017-18 throughout Maricopa and Phoenix, Ortega was allegedly charged with multiple criminal trespassing violations, criminal damage, disorderly conduct (noise), assault and public liquor consumption.

Domenico Cicirello. Submitted photo

The Maricopa Police Department is searching for a teenager after his mother reported his disappearance early Sunday morning.

Nunzia Parra said she last saw her 15-year-old son, Domenico Cicirello, around 9 p.m. on March 17 at their home in Rancho El Dorado.

Parra said she noticed Domenico missing from the home early the next morning.

MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said they received the report at 3:30 a.m., March 18. Alvarado said MPD is pursuing all avenues to locate the teen, whom they have listed as a runaway.

If you have any information, please contact the Maricopa Police Department, 520-568-3673.

ShutterStock

 

A citywide, free program aims to assist its homebound residents through phone calls and social visits.

The You Are Not Alone (YANA) program launched in 2015 and has since saved lives, said Mary Witkofski, Maricopa’s community programs manager.

Maricopa Police Department volunteers make weekly phone calls to participants. If contact is not made after three attempts, an emergency contact person is notified.

That’s what happened one Fourth of July two years ago when a woman was not answering a volunteer’s calls.

“The emergency contact, thank goodness, lives down the street,” Witkofski said. “He went (to her house) and actually found his mother laying on the floor.”

Emergency responders transported her to a local hospital where she eventually recovered.

Situations like these, Witkofski said, are reasons YANA is effective; and in cases where an emergency contact person cannot be reached, YANA volunteers will enlist the help of MPD.

In addition to the weekly calls, volunteers connect with participants by making quarterly, planned visits to their homes.

Witkofski said the volunteers socialize, play card games and have conversations with the residents.

Volunteers pass a fingerprint and background clearance and then go through training. MPD volunteers are mandatory reporters to adult protective services and have learned to identify signs of late-life domestic violence, abuse, depression, identity theft and scam.

Vice Mayor Peg Chapados, a senior advocate through Maricopa Seniors Inc., said YANA is a valuable resource for seniors living alone “because it’s a way to ‘stay connected’ and let people know that there is always someone who cares about their well-being.”

Generally, program participants are over 65 and live alone or are alone during the day and have limited mobility.

“(YANA’s purpose) is to maintain their independence, not take it away from them and I think that’s an important piece,” Witkofski said.

Age is not necessarily a qualifying condition, however. Those who have disabilities or are at home recovering from a procedure and are alone during the day are also are eligible for the program.

Qualified, part-time residents are also eligible to enroll while they are living in the city.

The program currently has 19 enrollees and Witkofski would like to see more.

“We definitely have room for growth,” she said.

YANA partners with community and social service agencies like the Maricopa Public Library’s All Access Homebound Delivery, COMET transit, Age-Friendly Committee and the Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens to provide additional resources for its participants.

The program came about after the city conducted a human-needs assessment which identified a gap in senior assistance.

Witkofski said participants who are hearing impaired can opt for a weekly text message instead of phone call.

520-316-6800, ext. 1234
vaps@Maricopa-AZ.gov


This story appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

Shawn Hill (PCSO photo)

 

A traffic stop led to a drug arrest early this month for a man with a misdemeanor warrant.

Maricopa Police Department arrested Shawn Hill on drug charges March 1 at 1:25 a.m. at the Ancon Avenue and Edison Road intersection in Acacia Crossings neighborhood.

A warrant check from his Indiana driver license confirmed Hill had a misdemeanor warrant out of the Maricopa/Stanfield Justice Court. The report did not specify what the warrant was for.

Prior to the arrest, an officer reported Hill stated he was in possession of drugs and a pipe.

“He stated he had the drugs in his underwear,” the police report alleges.

Of the items allegedly removed from the area, included: a clear glass pipe with white and brown residue, a small clear baggie containing meth, additional small clear baggies, a pink bag containing a lighter, a multicolor glass pipe and a small jar of marijuana, according to the report.

The officer also reported finding a weigh scale inside the vehicle “next to the seat where Hill was sitting.”

The scale purportedly had a white, powdery substance on it.

MPD transported Hill to Pinal County Jail and forwarded charges of possession of a dangerous drug, a class 4 felony, possession of drug paraphernalia, a class 6 felony, and possession of marijuana, class 6 felony.


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Nicole Knight (PCSO photo)

Maricopa Police arrested a woman last week after allegedly discovering nearly two pounds of marijuana in her shopping cart.

Nicole Knight, 37, was allegedly pushing 1.6 pounds of marijuana in a cart near the Honeycutt Road and Maricopa Groves Parkway intersection March 9, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

The incident began when an MPD officer noticed Knight allegedly jaywalking across Honeycutt Road around 6:30 p.m.

While speaking with Knight, the reporting officer “noticed an odor of marijuana emanating” from the cart, according to the report.

Knight purportedly showed the officer a small of amount of the drug in a sheet of paper she had on her person. The officer then placed Knight in custody and stated her Miranda rights, according to the report.

Afterward, the officer searched the cart and discovered a large, black plastic garbage bag that reportedly contained the additional marijuana.

The police report states Knight claimed the drug was for personal use and denied ever selling marijuana.

Police forwarded a single charge of possession of marijuana against Knight, a class 6 felony.


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Other Family Advocacy Centers have logos for their communications. Now Maricopa FAC wants local artists to create one, too.

Maricopa Police Department wants the community’s help in creating a logo for its new Family Advocacy Center.

In the planning stages since 2015, the FAC will be a place where victims of domestic violence and sexual assault can receive care and assistance. It will also be an initiatory venue for investigations into such assaults.

Community Programs Manager Mary Witkofski said FAC is reaching out to Maricopa artists to design a logo that will be used on letterhead, the website and inside the facility.

“We would like them to use the colors of the organization,” she said.

Those symbolic colors include purple for domestic violence, teal for sexual abuse, blue for child abuse and green for safety. The design needs to represent the consortium of organizations providing help: law enforcement, prosecutors, child safety workers and others. The logo should also be gender-neutral.

Deadline to submit a design is April 6. Entries should be sent in PDF form to VAPS@Maricopa-az.gov.

A FAC steering committee will review the entries in May. The winner will be announced June 1.

The Family Advocacy Center will serve all ages. Stakeholders include Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, Casa Grande Police, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Community Alliance Against Family Abuse, Bloom365, First Things First, Department of Child Safety and many others.

The care incudes medical examinations and care, mental health care through MPD and Cenpatico, legal advocacy, case management, crisis advocacy and support groups. It has a Maricopa location that is being refurbished to fit the needs of the center.

Nicholas Amado (PCSO photo)

Maricopa Police arrested an alleged convicted felon Friday after they say a search of his vehicle yielded drugs and weapons.

Nicholas Amado, 38, of Casa Grande was arrested on multiple dangerous drug charges just after midnight on Feb. 9 at the Circle K convenience store on John Wayne Parkway and Bowlin Road after a call alerted authorities to an unconscious driver parked at a gas pump.

According to a Maricopa Police Department report, an officer found Amado “slumped over the center console” inside a blue 2002 Chevy Tahoe.

Amado stirred at the sound of the officer’s fist pounding on the driver’s side window and eventually opened the vehicle door. The officer reported smelling the “strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.”

The report states Amado denied having weapons in the vehicle and also said he was not in possession of a medical marijuana card.

As Amado exited the vehicle at the officer’s request, the report states two $20 bills were on the driver side floorboard. The officer offered to let Amado collect the cash before it blew away.

According to the report, the officer observed Amado “rummaging under the driver seat and pull(ing) out a large wad of money” before the officer walked him over to a police vehicle.

After the officer told Amado he would search the vehicle due to the marijuana odor, the report states Amado allegedly admitted to having marijuana in the ashtray of the SUV.

The officer’s search of the vehicle alleges the discovery of that and more, including:

  • One “tennis ball-sized” bag of methamphetamine, weighing 18.3 grams in the driver seat
  • One bag of methamphetamine, weighing 18.2 grams under the driver seat
  • One bag of marijuana, weighing 1.4 grams in the dashboard ashtray
  • One bag of marijuana, weighing 0.9 grams in a backpack behind the driver seat
  • One clear plastic bag of crushed/powdered methamphetamine in the same backpack

All of the drugs later field tested positive on the TruNarc scanner, the report alleges.

The officer reported Amado is a “convicted felon who was in possession of two firearms.”

Inside the vehicle, the officer reportedly found two weapons, an H&K .22 caliber MP5 rifle and a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, both with accompanying ammunition.

A pill bottle containing eight oxycodone hydrochloride opioid pills and a black digital scale were also allegedly found in the vehicle.

“I located binoculars, off-road equipment and a medical first aid kit,” the officer wrote in the report.

After the search, the officer states he told Amado he was under arrest, walked over to Amado and “grabbed his left and arm and told him to place his hands behind his back.”

The report alleges Amado instead pulled away from the officer and ran through the parking lot.

A second police officer assisted in successfully placing Amado in custody, but the report states the suspect continued to resist while officers attempted to handcuff him.  

Police transported Amado to Pinal County Jail on one count of resisting arrest, a class 6 felony; one count of possession of dangerous drugs, a class 4 felony; one count of possession of dangerous drugs for sale, a class 2 felony; one count of transport dangerous drugs for sale, a class 2 felony; one count of possession of marijuana, a class 6 felony; and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a class 6 felony. He is also charged with misconduct involving weapons, a class 1 misdemeanor; prohibited possessor in possession of firearms, a class 4 felony; possession of weapons in commission of drug offense, a class 4 felony; and possession of prescription medication without prescription, a class 1 misdemeanor.



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Marcos Martinez is accused of the brutal murder of Vicky Ten Hoven. (photos PCSO/Facebook)

Eight months before Vicky Ten Hoven was killed  in her Maricopa home, police reports state the grandson accused of her murder had been “involuntarily committed.”

May 22, 2017, a Chandler Police officer was dispatched on a “mental health pickup order” to retrieve Marcos Jerell Martinez from his hospital room inside Chandler Regional Medical Center, according to a report from the Chandler Police Department. The report did not indicate the reason behind Martinez’s admittance to the hospital.

After placing Martinez in handcuffs, the officer transported him to a behavioral health and substance abuse treatment facility in Mesa.

CPD spokesman Seth Tyler said the mental health pickup order was signed by a judge and approved by a supervisor. He said individuals are typically “mandated” to stay 72 hours at the facility but are often released before then.

Details as to the cause of Martinez’s alleged committal and its duration were not included in the report.

Martinez, 23, was said to have lived with his grandparents in Maricopa on occasion and also stayed at two homes in the Valley where his parents are said to live separately, according to Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado.

His contact with law enforcement appeared to be non-violent prior to late January when he became the person of interest in his grandmother’s death.

Sixty-two-year-old Vicky Ten Hoven was discovered by her husband in a pool of blood on her kitchen floor on the evening of Jan. 28. Her vehicle was also missing from the home.

The Maricopa Fire/Medical Department pronounced Ten Hoven dead 15 minutes after receiving the emergency call. An autopsy conducted by a Pinal County medical examiner one day after Ten Hoven’s death revealed a brutal homicide.

Court records say the ME located five stab wounds to Ten Hoven’s head, describing wounds to her face and neck. Blunt force trauma was determined as the cause of death.

Ten Hoven also sustained numerous defensive wounds consistent with fighting back, and the ME advised officers the victim’s attacker should have scratch marks or lacerations, according to the report.

MPD detectives found blood spatter throughout the home the night of the alleged murder as well as numerous bloody knives with broken blades and handles.

The report also alleges evidence was present at the scene to support a charge of attempting to destroy evidence. A mop had been used to clean areas of the residence and a discolored comforter was discovered inside a washing machine that emitted “a strong odor of bleach.”

Despite the alleged attempt to conceal the crime, the report says detectives located a blood trail that led from the kitchen to a bedroom identified as belonging to Martinez.

MPD described the victim’s grandson as a person of interest in the case and obtained a warrant to monitor the “pings” from his cellular phone in an attempt to locate him.

Officers arrested Martinez just after midnight Jan. 30 inside his grandmother’s missing vehicle. He was parked in an industrial area near 2290 Yeager Drive in Chandler and was found after authorities were alerted to his phone’s ping from a nearby cell tower.

Officers reported observing blood inside the vehicle “in plain view.”

Authorities also noted injuries to Martinez including a freshly stitched index finger, lacerations to his left hand’s fingers, palm and thumb, and an apparent injury to his hip.

As police detained Martinez, he allegedly told an officer, “There is evidence on my phone,” according to the report.

The report also says stains consisted with the appearance of blood were found on Martinez’s shirt and shorts. Ten Hoven’s vehicle and Martinez’s clothing were impounded as evidence.

MPD is forwarding charges of second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and unlawful use of means of transportation.

Martinez is being held on a $1 million bond in Pinal County Jail. There has been no grand jury indictment.



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Brandon Gray. (PCSO photo)

 

A Maricopa man was arrested Feb. 1 on charges of kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly holding a woman against her will and threatening her with a knife at her Mesa apartment Jan. 22.

Brandon Gray, 28, is accused of forcing his ex-girlfriend to restrain herself with zip-ties while holding her at knifepoint, according to a Mesa Police report.

The victim returned home from work to find Gray waiting at her apartment, where he allegedly threatened her while confronting her about text messages and pictures he had found on her phone, the report says.

Gray was responsible for babysitting their kids while the victim was at work, but instead Gray allegedly took the children to a relative’s house in Maricopa and then returned to the Mesa apartment and confronted the victim. 

The report says Gray pulled a knife from his hoodie and told the victim to get on her knees and instructed her to put zip-ties around her wrists. The victim pretended to struggle with the zip-ties for long enough that Gray became frustrated and told her to “forget it.”

After spending what she said was more than an hour on her knees, the victim asked to use the restroom. While in the bathroom the victim claims she could see Gray through the open door putting on blue latex gloves and then garden gloves over them.

Gray then allegedly entered the bathroom with the gloves on his hands and attempted to reconcile with the victim, the report says. Fearing for her life, the victim agreed to reconcile, she later told police.     

Using the victim’s car, Gray then drove the victim toward Maricopa to retrieve their children, according to the report. The victim was able to convince Gray she needed to stop at a relative’s house on the way. While there, the victim left a note indicating the danger she was in. That relative then notified another relative, who lives in Maricopa.

While proceeding to Maricopa, the victim, still fearing for her life, also allegedly sent a text message to the second relative saying, “I want you to know I love you so much.” After realizing they were heading toward Maricopa, the victim again was able to convince Gray she need to stop at the second relative’s home to retrieve items for work.

Believing they had reconciled, Gray dropped the victim off at her relative’s Maricopa home while he went to one of his relative’s homes to pick up the children.

When Gray returned with the children, the victim convinced him to allow the children to enter the home to visit with the relative. While he waited in the car, they called 911. 

The Mesa Police report states Maricopa Police responded and initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle Gray was in. Gray allegedly admitted to some of details as the victim described, but claims he did not threaten the victim nor force her to her knees and order her to restrain herself with zip-ties.

A “consent” search of the vehicle was conducted, and a Walmart bag was found containing a buck knife, wrapper to a roll of duct tape, blue latex gloves and black zip ties. Gray alegedly admitted the items were his and but that he intended to use the items to “hang clothing in his car and to make repairs on his car.”

Gray allegedly further admitted to having the knife in his pocket while confronting the victim about the text messages and photos.

However, the Mesa Police report said, Gray was not arrested that night.

The victim and Mesa police returned to her apartment the next morning. Officers located a pair of blue latex gloves together with garden gloves, turned inside out.

The victim was able to break her lease and move out of the apartment. While moving out, the victim found a roll of black duct tape matching the brand of wrapper found in the Walmart bag, a bottle of kerosene and cedar wood chips often used to mask odors.

Based on the additional evidence found at the victim’s apartment, Mesa Police concluded they had probable cause to charge Gray with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.

Maricopa Police arrested Gray Feb. 2 at a home in Maricopa.

He was booked in Pinal County Adult Detention Center and later transferred to a Maricopa County Jail.

If convicted, Gray faces a presumptive sentence of 16 years in prison.

Left turns are prohibited out of Sequoia Pathway at Porter Road.

A rollover accident involving an off-road vehicle briefly disrupted the morning commute Monday.

Lt. Stephen Judd with the Maricopa Police Department said a side-by-side recreation vehicle rolled onto its side on Porter Road after making an illegal left turn from Sequoia Pathway Academy.

A traffic sign prohibits left hand turns from the school onto Porter.

“(The off road vehicle) slammed on its brakes and turned over on its side,” Judd said. “There was actually no collision; no other vehicles were hit. It just lost control and turned over.”

Judd said the male driver of the vehicle did not sustain injuries and police crews cleared the roadway quickly.

Joshua Husick (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa teen was arrested on multiple charges Jan. 24 after allegedly brandishing a gun during a confrontation with another driver on Farrell Road.

Joshua Husick, 18, was arrested around 3:30 p.m. near Porter and Farrell roads, according to a report from the Maricopa Police Department.

Husick, originally detained by Ak-Chin Police, allegedly admitted, “I’m not gonna [sic] lie, I did pull my gun out,” the report says, though he did not “pull it out on [the driver].”

Husick’s said, according to the MPD report, he was driving westbound on Farrell when the other driver “stopped really hard” and threw a cup at Husick’s car, a red Jaguar. 

At that point, Husick admitted, he pulled out “his piece” but did not point it at the other driver. Instead, he said he held the barrel of the pistol and put the handle outside of the window with the barrel pointing back at himself.  

Additionally, the report says, Husick stated he did not fear for his life during the incident. 

The other driver allegedly told Ak-Chin PD Husick was driving in front of them when the incident took place, and that the confrontation with the gun was the culmination of an initial “road rage incident,” which was not described in the MPD report.

Husick was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center and formally charged with misconduct involving weapons for being a minor in possession of a handgun, disorderly conduct, and threatening and intimidating.

If convicted, he could face as many as three years in prison.


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Lamar Hannon (PCSO photo)

A man was arrested recently after police found him asleep underneath a bed in his ex-girlfriend’s house.

Lamar Hannon, 34, is charged with first-degree criminal trespassing after police reports say he broke down the front door of a residence in Senita on Jan. 29.

Police reports indicate the victim was once in a relationship with Hannon and had an active order of protection against him.

The incident began Monday just before midnight when the victim and a friend arrived home to find their door was broken down.

Officers responded shortly after and found Hannon “passed out” in a bedroom “partially underneath a bed.” The report did not indicate whether the man was intoxicated.

When roused, Hannon allegedly began to yell at officers.

“Ya’ll are going to have to kill me today. I didn’t do s—,” the police report alleges Hannon said.

Hannon was arrested without incident and booked into Pinal County Jail.

In addition to the trespassing felony, police are recommending additional charges of criminal damage and interfering with judicial proceedings. Hannon could face a maximum penalty of four years behind bars if convicted.


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Marcos Martinez was arrested early Tuesday morning after his grandmother, Vicky Ten Hoven, was killed in her home Sunday. (Photos MPD/Facebook)

The grandson of a woman killed in Maricopa has been arrested in Chandler.

Vicky Ten Hoven, 62, was found deceased on her kitchen floor on Sunday around 7:40 p.m. by her husband, and a vehicle was missing. Maricopa Police Department announced they were seeking Marcos J. Martinez, 23, as a person of interest in the case.

Ten Hoven had been a Realtor with HomeSmart Success since May 2017.

Martinez’s arrest was announced Tuesday morning at a press conference by MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado. He said Martinez was found in an industrial area in Chandler at 1 a.m. in the missing vehicle. The arrest of Martinez was without incident, he said.

Martinez was further identified as a grandson of Ten Hoven, one of two grandchildren occasionally living in the house on Bunker Drive in Rancho El Dorado. Martinez also had a home in Gilbert, according to MPD.

Alvarado said police did not believe the crime was random because there was no forced entry to the house or other noticeable disturbance. 

“We did find biological evidence, physical evidence in the vehicle that linked him to the crime scene and to the death of Ms. Ten Hoven,” Alvarado said.

Martinez has been charged with second-degree murder and possession of a stolen vehicle. He was booked into Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s Fourth Avenue  Jail awaiting extradition to Pinal County.

MPD did not release information on the direct cause of death or likely weapon.


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Maricopa Police are awaiting the results of an autopsy in a suspicious death case Monday after the deceased was found early Monday morning in a Rancho el Dorado home from an unknown cause.

Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said the death is being treated as suspicious because the deceased was not known to be receiving treatment for any specific ailment. 

“Typically, when you have some type of a death, you have some kind of a [primary] care doctor that will sign off on a death certificate,” Alvarado said. “In this situation there is no [primary] care doctor so we have to have an autopsy, and the autopsy will determine what they rule [the cause of death] as.”

The deceased has not yet been identified. 

An autopsy is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday. 

This is a developing story. Continue to follow InMaricopa for more updates.


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