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MPD

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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Monterrius Smith (left) and Tyrone Jones (right) stand accused of stealing more than $15,000 worth of iPhones from Walmart in Maricopa. PCSO Photos.

Two of three suspects charged in connection with the theft of more than $15,000 in cellular phones from a Maricopa Walmart pled not guilty in court Friday.

Monterrius Smith, 20, and Tyrone Jones, 19, entered pleas of not guilty to Judge Lawrence Wharton of the Pinal County Superior Court after each were charged with multiple counts of theft and burglary for a  Jan. 5 theft of 18 iPhones from the Walmart store located on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

Both stand accused of allegedly entering the store with an unknown third suspect and executing a coordinated heist.

“The males took turns distracting the clerk as they crawled under the service counter and used a pry bar type tool, to open a locked cabinet containing new iPhones [sic],” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said in a written statement.

Smith and Jones are also accused of committing similar thefts from a Casa Grande Walmart, court documents show.  

Both have been charged with theft, organized retail theft and third-degree burglary.

If convicted, each face presumptive prison sentences of eight and a half years in prison.

This is a developing story. Continue to follow InMaricopa for up-to-date information about this case.       

A 22-year-old man was arrested for allegedly assaulting his grandfather over a disagreement regarding access to a television set Thursday morning in Rancho El Dorado.

Maricopa Police Department spokesman Sgt. Hal Koozer said the suspect, Dorin Martinez, is accused of physically assaulting his 73-year-old grandfather at the home they share near the 42000 block of Bunker Drive around 9:54 a.m. on Jan. 25.

“The grandpa locked the TV up, and the grandchild wanted it,” Koozer said.

The victim received a laceration to his face, but declined transportation to the hospital after being treated on scene by Maricopa Fire/Medical Department, according to MPD.

Koozer said no weapons were involved in the physical assault.

Police arrested Martinez and will forward a domestic violence assault charge to Pinal County Attorney’s Office. 

 

Submitted photo

The Maricopa Police Department Explorers Post 2100 placed first in crisis negotiation during a two-day, national tactical competition in Chandler.

The local post was one of 65 teams from around the country that competed in various SWAT events at the Chandler Police Department 20th annual Explorer Tactical Competition Jan. 13-14.

Explorer Edward Figueroa took the top placing in the individual male pistol shoot competition. Explorer Aubree Goettle placed fourth in the same event’s female category.

“Other events the MPD Explorers competed in were the tactical obstacle course, TK4 (swat vehicle) pull, rock wall climb, 5-man Hostage Rescue Team, marijuana grow operation raid, waterborne operations, sniper challenge and a tactical scavenger hunt,” said MPD Explorer advisor Officer Chris Evans.

Explorers who competed:
Edward Figueroa
Jacelyn Rodriguez
Dreama King
Dax Sweetser
James McNelly
Augustine Lujan
Aubree Goettle
Ethan Griffin
Donavan Griffin
MPD Advisors: Officer Chris Evans and Sgt. Sean Marchese


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Everton Williams. PCSO photo

A man was charged with aggravated assault after allegedly biting a Maricopa Police officer Jan. 6 while being transported to jail on charges of allegedly threatening to shoot a woman and marijuana possession.

MPD records show Everton Williams, 30, allegedly bit the officer during transport when officers attempted to put Williams in a “spit mask” after he “became combative and began spitting in the car.”

Williams was initially arrested around 1:15 a.m. after an officer investigating an alleged threat he made against a woman sitting in her car.

At around 12:30 a.m. the alleged victim was sitting in a car in her driveway when a man fitting Williams description allegedly approached her and threatened to shoot her, according to the report.

The victim claimed she did not know Williams and no motive was mentioned in the report.

After receiving word of the incident, MPD was able to identify and locate the vehicle Williams was a passenger in at the intersection of Smith-Enke and Porter roads.

During the traffic stop, MPD records indicate officers smelled an odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle. The vehicle was then searched, and marijuana was found in the “passenger compartment.” Williams allegedly admitted it was his despite not having a medical marijuana card.

Additionally, Williams admitted to speaking with the woman, though he denies making any threats.

The police report gives no indication any firearms were found.

While being transported to jail in Florence on charges of threatening and possession of marijuana, Williams allegedly became combative and began spitting in the police vehicle. After officers pulled over and attempted to restrain Williams he bit the officer’s middle finger, according to the report.

The officer was wearing gloves and only sustained minor bite marks not requiring medical attention.

Williams is being held at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center on a $10,000 bond.

If convicted, he could face as many as 9 years behind bars.


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Three suspects were photographed by surveillance cameras leaving Walmart after 18 iPhones were stolen.

Three male suspects are wanted by Maricopa police for questioning in a Jan. 5 theft at Walmart, during which more than $15,000 in cellular phones were stolen.

MPD is calling this the getaway car.

Around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning three males were captured on surveillance footage entering the store, and allegedly distracting the sales clerk while brazenly stealing a total of 18 iPhones from behind the electronics counter.

“The males took turns distracting the clerk as they crawled under the service counter and used a pry bar type tool, to open a locked cabinet containing new iPhones,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said in a written statement.

The suspects then exited the store and fled in a white four-door sedan.

The Maricopa Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspects and asks that anyone with information regarding the theft or the identities of the suspects to please contact them on their non-emergency line at 520-568-3673.


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Explorer of the Year Dreama King with School Resource Officer Chris Evans, who runs the Explorer program at MHS. Photo by Joycelyn Cabrera

By Joycelyn Cabrera

Sixteen-year-old Dreama King was awarded the Maricopa Police Department Explorers’ “Explorer of the Year” after she prevented a peer from committing suicide over the summer.

King stumbled upon an online group chat and discovered a young lady who had described the desire to harm herself and end her life due to her living circumstances.

King convinced the teen to message her privately and prevented her from taking her own life by helping her realize her own self-worth. Today, both young women have connected as close friends and continue to talk regularly.

After discussing the series of events with the lead advisor of MPD Explorers, Officer Chris Evans, she was nominated to be named 2017’s MPD Explorer of the Year. King received the honor in early November at the Maricopa Police Foundation awards dinner.

King, a junior at Maricopa High School, has been a part of MPD Explorers since her freshman year, after contemplating a career in military service or law enforcement. She rose to executive commander and second in command among the Explorers after only two years.

Evans nominated King due to her achievement in protecting a life as well as her drive and motivation among the Explorers. “It’s pretty easy working with someone who has that drive. She definitely earned it,” he said.

Dreama King. Photo by Joycelyn Cabrera

Evans oversees training among the Explorers and describes scenario-based situations to be prepared for real-life emergencies. Additionally, Explorers are exposed to potentially dangerous scenes when they participate in ride-alongs with officers.

The goal is for every Explorer to know how to react in any situation. Evans and King agree it was the training that primarily guided King through what to do, what to say and how to say it.

King said she was shocked and honored to receive the award. She believes anyone currently struggling should try to seek help. “There’s a lot of people that care. You can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.”


Joycelyn Cabrera is a senior at Maricopa High School.


This story appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

Jonah Honie

A man was arrested Dec. 29 on multiple charges related to drug possession and driving with an open container of alcohol after an officer stopped the man for allegedly flicking a cigarette butt out of the window of a vehicle he was driving.

Maricopa Police arrested Jonah Lewis Honie, 22, Friday night after an officer investigating the alleged littering incident found an open container of alcohol in the suspect’s vehicle and methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia on his person.

At around 11 p.m. the officer spotted Honie allegedly toss the butt in the area of John Wayne Parkway and Rancho El Dorado, the report says.

During the traffic stop, the officer noticed an open bottle of Southern Comfort on the floorboard of the back seat. The bottle was allegedly within reach of the driver, prompting Honie’s arrest, the report says.

During a search, a small “jewelry box” containing nine “small individually wrapped plastic ziploc [sic] style bags,” containing a substance later positively identified as methamphetamine, was allegedly found in Honie’s front pocket.

A small digital scale with white and brown residue was also allegedly found in Honie’s back pocket.

During a post-Miranda interview, Honie allegedly admitted “he intended to sell the baggies of methamphetamine to provide for his four children.”

He was booked into Pinal County Jail and later released.

In all, he was charged with littering, possession of an open alcohol container in a vehicle, possession of a dangerous drug for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia.

If convicted Honie could face up to five years in prison. 


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As Maricopa firefighters check Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church for fire, MPD prepares a drone to fly over the building to look for smoke or flames. Photo by Mason Callejas

Maricopa Police Department used one of its newest bits of technology to assist the fire department in investigating a small fire at a church Tuesday.

First responders received reports of a small fire at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church around 9 a.m. Tuesday and were on scene within minutes.

MFMD on scene to contain the fire at the church. Photo by Mason Callejas

Maricopa Fire/Medical fire investigator Jason Nelson said firefighters were able to keep the blaze contained to a small closet. MPD spokesperson Ricardo Alvarado said the department deployed their drone in an attempt to help locate possible hotspots or areas where fire may be hidden from sight.

The drone, equipped with a state of the art forward-looking infrared camera (FLIR) system, flew over the building for more than half an hour using both its FLIR camera and full-spectrum camera to look for any latent fire.

Alvarado said the drone did not detect any areas of possible concern, indicating the fire was likely contained. The church’s sprinkler system was effective in stopping the spread of any flames.

Church secretary Patti Coutre said via social media, there was “no major damage, however church will remain closed until the insurance releases it and it is cleaned up.”

A woman did receive minor burns to her hands as a result of the fire, Nelson said. However, since the injuries weren’t considered serious, she chose to seek medical attention on her own.

Nelson said the exact cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

 



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Photo credits: 1 Scott Bartle; 2 PCSO; 3 submitted; 4 Will Wynne; 5 Nathan Corp; 6 PCSO; 7 PCSO; 8 submitted; 9 Michelle Chance

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A fatal crash Sept. 5 on State Route 238 was likely caused by one of the vehicles trying to pass a commercial truck in the path of oncoming traffic, Maricopa County Sheriff’s officials said. The vehicles collided when both drivers made evasive maneuvers, meeting head-on on the shoulder, killing both drivers and injuring two teens in one of the vehicles.

  1. 2 teens die after crash on Papago

Two teenagers died after a minivan they were riding in struck another vehicle and rolled over Oct. 29. The second vehicle allegedly ran a stop sign at the Ralston Road and Papago Road intersection when the minivan struck the car and ejected one of the teens. Five of the six passengers in the van were transported to the hospital where the 16- and 17-year-old boys, both of whom were wheelchair-bound, later died.

  1. MPD arrests man on multiple child molestation charges

An area handyman accused of sex crimes involving a minor was arrested by Maricopa Police Nov. 28 for his alleged inappropriate contact with a 14-year-old child. Ronald Bragonier, 54, was arrested after the victim notified authorities of multiple incidents that occurred earlier in 2017 in multiple cities and states.

  1. Maricopa teen charged with assault after ‘bragging’ on social media

A Maricopa teen was arrested Oct. 7 on multiple charges stemming from an alleged assault he bragged about in video posted to his Facebook page. Willie Lofton, 19, allegedly started multiple fights at Copper Sky Regional Park several days before his arrest. He then went back to one of the locations of the fights and began filming blood stains on the ground and on his shoes.

  1. Road rage caught on video leads to charges

Charges of disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace were filed against two Maricopa motorists June 27 when an incident of road rage was captured on video that went viral on social media. James Kingery was filmed by another motorist allegedly punching Holden Elsea through the open window of his vehicle at an intersection on John Wayne Parkway. Elsea then reacted by striking the rear window of Kingery’s vehicle with a tire iron or similar object.

  1. 2 dead in crash on SR 347

A man and a woman died as the result of a three-car collision on State Route 347 Oct. 28, just north of Riggs Road. DPS said the deceased male was driving the vehicle that struck two others stopped for a red light at Riggs Road. He was not wearing a seatbelt and suffered “major head trauma,” while a gravely injured woman was transported to Chandler Regional Hospital where she later died.

  1. Maricopa family grieves loss of 4 children in Illinois fire

A Maricopa mother lost her four oldest children in a residential fire Nov. 21 near the city of Dixon, Illinois. The children, once residents of Maricopa, moved to Illinois to live with their father and stepmother, who also perished in the blaze. Tragically, the family also suffered a loss in 2013 when their 4-month-old son died from sudden infant death syndrome.

  1. 3 charged in armed robbery at Maricopa ATM

Three suspects were arrested for armed robbery Nov. 21 after a cellular phone stolen during the heist was tracked by law enforcement. The three allegedly approached a woman sitting in her car at the Bank of America ATM around 12:30 a.m. One suspect allegedly pointed a gun at the victim, robbing her of $260 and the phone. The trio was arrested roughly two hours later by Chandler PD.

  1. Vehicle crossed over median before fatal crash

Two men and a woman, all members of the Gila River Indian Community, were killed Nov. 29 after the vehicle they were in, heading southbound on State Route 347, crossed over the median north of Casa Blanca Road, rolled over into oncoming traffic and was struck by a semi. One other passenger in the Ford Ranger survived the crash and was transported to Chandler Regional hospital, while the driver of the semi was uninjured.


This story appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.



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David Goff (left) and Seth Rodriguez were arrested after being accused of shoplifting at Walmart. PCSO photos

After being arrested on shoplifting charges last week, a woman was also booked on possession of drug paraphernalia after police allegedly discovered a meth pipe on the woman’s person, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

During processing at the Maricopa Police Department on Dec. 19, Jolene Wilson, 35, told officers she had the meth pipe hidden in her “belly roll.”

Police allegedly found more paraphernalia on one of Wilson’s alleged shoplifting accomplices, 26-year-old David Goff.

“Upon searching Goff, an empty syringe was discovered which was described by David as his syringe for ‘shooting up heroin,’” the police report alleges.

Wilson and Goff were arrested alongside 24-year-old Seth Rodriguez after a trip to Walmart, where the trio is accused of stealing over $600 worth of merchandise at approximately 3:25 p.m. on Dec. 19.

Items allegedly stolen from the store include a television, hoverboard, tools and toys. The incident was caught on camera by a loss-prevention store associate.

As Wilson sat in the driver seat of a silver sedan outside Walmart, the police report states, surveillance cameras recorded Goff and Rodriguez leaving the store with merchandise in their carts they did not purchase.

“The two male suspects entered the vehicle and all three fled the scene with the trunk to the vehicle still open,” according to the police report.

Approximately three minutes later, officers spotted the vehicle turning north onto White and Parker Road from Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. MPD later pulled the sedan over at White and Parker Road and Lococo Street.

The report alleges Wilson told responding officers on scene she and her two passengers were driving from Coolidge to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, “which was the opposite direction of where the car was driving.”

During the traffic stop, the Walmart loss-prevention employee was transported to the scene by MPD where she positively identified Goff and Rodriguez as being involved in the shoplifting.

All the stolen merchandise was discovered by officers inside the trunk of the sedan, according to the report. Goff allegedly admitted to shoplifting after the suspects were interviewed and read their Miranda rights.

All three were arrested on shoplifting charges and transported to the Pinal County Sherriff’s Office Jail. Goff and Wilson were also booked on possession of drug paraphernalia.



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Members of Maricopa Public Safety Departments gave back to their community this season by donating gifts for the holidays. During the sixth annual Ride for Toys event Dec. 9, children and their families received rides aboard The Maricopa Fire/Medical Department and fire trucks in exchange for toy donations. With help from CERT volunteers, MFMD donated the toys, as well as a $500 check to F.O.R. Maricopa Food Bank. Dec. 16, The Maricopa Police Department helped local children purchase gifts for their families during their annual “Shop with a Cop” inside Walmart.

Anthony Wyant faces several charges and Monique Quiroz is accused of attempted forgery in an incident at Wells Fargo. PCSO photos

A man was arrested Saturday at Wells Fargo in Maricopa for multiple charges stemming from an alleged forgery attempt in an incident that sent a police officer to the hospital.

Anthony Wyant, 51, of Mesa was arrested Dec. 16 at approximately 10:53 a.m. when he reportedly attempted to flee questioning by police regarding an attempted check forgery by an accomplice, 35-year-old Monique Quiroz of Casa Grande.

According to Maricopa Police Department records, Wyant first became “passively resistant” when police responding to investigate a check forgery in progress inside the bank asked him to exit the front passenger seat of the vehicle he was waiting in.

A warrant search was conducted for Wyant, revealing an outstanding warrant for failure to appear, the MPD report says. After further requests to exit the vehicle, he continued to refuse to comply at which point, the report alleges, Wyant put the vehicle in drive from the passenger seat and drove over a walkway, colliding with signage in front of the bank.

As a result of the incident, one MPD officer was injured. The officer was treated and later released from Chandler Regional Medical Center.

During further investigation, the MPD report says, the owner of the vehicle, a Scottsdale woman, stated neither Wyant nor Quiroz had permission to use the vehicle. Furthermore, the report alleges, Wyant provided an alias in an attempt to interfere with an investigation.

In all, Wyant was charged with nine separate offenses, including three counts of criminal damage, two counts of endangerment, aggravated assault, vehicle theft, false reporting to law enforcement and resisting arrest. He is being held at the Pinal County Jail in Florence on a $10,000 bond.

If convicted, Wyant faces more than 20 years in prison.

Quiroz was also arrested and charged with two counts of forgery. If convicted, she faces up to three years in prison.  She, too, is being held at the Pinal County Jail on a lesser $5,525 bond.



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Ched Bayles

A man and woman were arrested for shoplifting Saturday, just days after the man was arrested for allegedly assaulting and stealing from the same woman.

Ched Bayles, 28, and April Rarrick were arrested Dec. 16 for reportedly stealing multiple items from Fry’s grocery store, including a case of beer.

According to Maricopa Police Department reports, at around 8:50 p.m. Bayles, Rarrick and a third party, identified as Duane Antone, allegedly attempted to drive an electric shopping cart containing multiple items out of the store without paying.

The trio abandoned the cart in the parking lot and fled when an off-duty police officer attempted to stop them, according to the report.

Security camera footage allegedly shows Bayles grabbing a case of beer from the basket as he fled. Few minutes later, another off-duty officer saw Bayles riding a bike while holding the case of beer. Unaware of the incident, the officer did not attempt to contact Bayles.

Contact was eventually made with Bayles roughly half an hour later, though he was not in possession of the beer at the time, the report said. He was searched “incident to arrest” and was found to have other items in his backpack allegedly taken from Fry’s.

Rarrick was arrested around 9:15 p.m. when contact was made with her during what the report says was an “unrelated incident.”

Both were charged with theft and booked into Pinal County Jail.

Antone was not located at the time of the report. It is likely a warrant will be issued for his arrest.

Less than a week prior to this incident, on Dec. 11, Bayles was arrested when Rarrick called police to report he had allegedly slashed the tires of her bike and stole several items from her after grabbing her violently and sitting on her chest. As a result of that incident, Bayles was charged with assault, theft and criminal damage.



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Maricopa Police Foundation named Jonathan Schueller (left) Officer of the Year, and Elliot Sneezy Sergeant of the Year.

Maricopa Police Foundation honored Maricopa’s “finest” its annual award ceremony Nov. 4. MPD veteran Elliot Sneezy was named Sergeant of the Year, and newcomer Jonathan Schueller was named Officer of the Year. Shawna Thies was named Civilian Employee of the Year and Dreama King Explorer of the Year. Barry Vogel and Kelly Hayden were named Volunteers of the Year.


Officer of the Year Jonathan Schueller

Hometown: Primghar, Iowa
Current residence: Chandler
Years as a police officer: 1½
Serving Maricopa since: 2016
Family: Married nine years to Jamie Schueller, a kindergarten teacher
Like most about Maricopa: Support from the community
Favorite part of the job: No two days are ever the same
Least favorite part of the job: Knowing I or one of my brothers or sisters may not go home at the end of our shift.
Proudest moment on the job: The day I got hired because becoming a police officer has been my lifelong dream.
Scariest moment on the job: I have no fear; I have full faith and trust in my fellow brothers and sisters in this profession.
Why did you become a police officer? I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. When others say they won’t go or won’t do it, I will go.

Sergeant of the Year Elliot Sneezy

Hometown: San Carlos
Current residence: Phoenix
Years as a police officer: 23
Serving Maricopa since: 2007
Family: Wife Isabella and daughter Aili
Like most about Maricopa: I like how supportive the community is toward our officers. I have witnessed the random acts of kindness displayed by the kids and adults.
Favorite part of the job: Being in the company of heroes. The officers I have worked with throughout my career have done amazing things that most people will never hear or see. I get to see and hear it weekly.
Least favorite part of the job: The political aspects related to policing.
Proudest moment on the job and why: When I received the Sergeant of the Year award in 2014 my daughter, who was 7 years old at the time, and my wife were there to witness it. The team that helped me earn the award was one of the best teams I had the pleasure to work with. At that time the officer of the year also came from our team.
Scariest moment on the job: In 1996 I responded to a person who cut both of his wrists. While talking to him he backed into his backyard. As I was getting closer to him he grabbed a pitchfork that was on a table facing me and tried to stab me in the stomach. Luckily he only stabbed me in the palm of my hand to my wrist. I pulled out the pitchfork and wrestled him to the ground.
Why did you become a police officer? When I left the Marine Corps I needed a job. There were no jobs that had much of a future. I applied for the police department and was selected. I didn’t realize it, but I became the fourth generation in my family to be a police officer. In 1994 I was nearly killed by a gang member. From that point my passion for working gangs became my reason for staying in law enforcement.

 


This story appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

 

MPD Chief Steve Stahl addresses cadets in Maricopa High School's AFJROTC program.

Steve Stahl, chief of the Maricopa Police Department, never dreamed of becoming a police officer, let alone the leader of an entire jurisdiction.

While attending college, Stahl originally pursued a career in education.

“I wanted to be a school teacher,” he told a group of Air Force Junior ROTC cadets at Maricopa High School Monday morning.

But plans changed. Eventually, Stahl graduated from police academy and held several positions at the Mesa Police Department before taking his first chief of police position in Maricopa.

It was a decision spurred by Stahl’s dedication for his profession, he said, a trait vital for leaders in any field.

“Never chase the money. The money is not going to make you happy. Chase your passion,” Stahl said.

The police chief, dressed in uniform, lectured inside the school auditorium and outlined the personal attributes successful leaders share.

One of the most important traits is honesty, he said.

“If you lie, you lose the core, fundamental element of being part of something bigger than yourself,” Stahl said.

Students listened as the police chief encouraged them to bond with their community and break away from their comfort zones. Stahl asked students how many of them knew there was a mosque located in Maricopa. No hands raised.

“You have to be willing to talk to people who are different from you because they have a lot to offer and you have a lot to offer them,” he said.

Although Stahl decided against a career as a teacher years ago, MHS students said he taught them a lot about their potential.

“Everyone, individually, could be a great leader as long as they try,” said AFJROTC Cadet Nathan Dickinson.

Stahl’s speech is part of a lecture series held at MHS for AFJROTC students.


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High school-age boys walking to school told their mother they found two handguns just south of Edison Road in an empty lot. Submitted photo

A pair of high school students found two, fully loaded pistols in a dirt lot near the Acacia Crossing subdivision Friday morning, the teens’ mother said.

Brandie Weaver Brooks said her sons, 14-year-old Gabriel and 15-year-old Christian, were walking to Maricopa High School from their home in the Acacia Crossing subdivision.

After cutting through a dirt lot south of the subdivision and Edison Road, Weaver said the boys came upon a small-caliber semi-automatic and a holstered revolver.

“While walking through, my son seen something shiny, walked over to it, and [saw] both guns just out in the open in plain sight,” Brooks said.

From there, the boys immediately notified their mother, who then called police.

“I went over there with my son, who then showed me where they were, and we stood right there until the police arrived and took them,” Brooks said.

Both weapons were apparently fully loaded, she said.

The boys’ vigilance and responsible actions Friday morning made Weaver, who has taught her boys since a young age about gun safety, beam with pride.

“(There are) no words to describe the joy I feel knowing they did the right thing and called me right away to let me know what they found instead of messing with them or taking them to school,” Brooks said. “I’m the proudest mom at this moment.”

Maricopa Police Department is investigating whether the two guns are related to an October armed robbery of a Shell gas station, said MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado.

“As of right now, (the guns are) not entered into any system as being stolen,” Alvarado said.


Reporter Mason Callejas contributed to this story.  

This story has been updated from a previous version.


Assault charges are pending against a teen after she allegedly kicked another, pregnant teen in an altercation at Maricopa High School.

Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said the incident involving the two juveniles occurred around 2:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27. The alleged offender supposedly kicked the other teen, described as four months pregnant, in the back causing her to fall to the ground, Alvarado said.

The pregnant teen refused medical treatment on scene and that “she would seek treatment on her own,” Alvarado said.

Alvarado further stated the teen responsible for the alleged assault was released into the custody of her mother. No motives for the fight were given.

As for the student’s punishment, Maricopa Unified School District superintendent Steve Chestnut said, “disciplinary consequences as described in the Secondary Student Handbook are being followed.”

Assault is considered a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

A 96-year-old woman drowned in Maricopa Saturday morning.

Maricopa Fire/Medical Department responded to an adult drowning call at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the Senita subdivision.

MFMD Spokesman Brad Pitassi said the woman’s family initially found her in the pool. Once on scene, crews reported the woman was unresponsive.

“Maricopa PD is investigating, but the patient had an unknown downtime in the pool and she also had a do-not-resuscitate-order so she wasn’t revived,” Pitassis said. “It’s common for the elderly to have those be in our orders.”

Ricardo Alvarado, spokesman for the Maricopa Police Department, confirmed police are investigating the drowning.

“(The investigation) is typical in any drowning – adult or child,” Alvarado said.

A glow stick party is planned this month as part of Domestic Violence Awareness.

The Maricopa Police Department rolled out a youth-led intervention group on Oct. 3 at City Hall.

Mary Witkofski, Community Programs Manager with the police department, said MPD is the first law enforcement agency in the nation to implement the program as part of the Valley-based group Bloom365.

The MPD BloomCrew is made up of five local youth facilitators and eight adult mentors. The group provides peer-to-peer counseling, education and advocacy to teens while also promoting “smart choice in friendships and dating,” Witkofski said.

Mayor Price introduced the group during a city council meeting last week after he proclaimed October Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Witkofski recognized Against Abuse Inc. and Eve’s Place as long-term service providers.

The BloomCrew will kick off its first community event Oct. 21 with a glow-stick party for children 10 to 13 years old inside Copper Sky Recreation Center from 3 to 6 p.m. The free event will feature games about healthy relationships, prizes, food and music DJ’d by the Be Awesome Youth Coalition.

According to a report by Bloom365, 1 in 3 teens will experience dating abuse.

Maricopa Community Alliance Against Substance Abuse Program Director Priscilla Behnke, said tweens are not too young to learn about domestic violence.

“It’s really the time they are coming into their own,” Behnke said. “They are starting to develop autonomy and they want relationships outside that nuclear family and if they don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like they are not going to start adopting healthy relationships.”

The MPD BloomCrew will visit Sequoia Pathway Academy junior high students on Oct. 23 and will later attend a youth girls’ symposium for junior high students in the Maricopa Unified School District on Oct. 25.

In September, over half of the 96 contacts MPD Victim Assistance Program had with victims were “domestic and family violence related,” according to the most recent weekly report by City Manager Gregory Rose.

To contact a victim advocate call 520-316-6800.