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A Maricopa man is facing multiple charges after being caught under someone’s car July 3.

Daniel Danforth, 34, was charged with burglary, attempted theft, criminal damage and possession of burglary tools during the incident, local police said.

Around 9 p.m., Maricopa police were dispatched to the parking lot of Sun Life Family Health Center on John Wayne Parkway after receiving a call reporting an unidentified male under the caller’s parked vehicle.

The caller told police he was walking out of the adjacent business when he saw the man, later identified as Danforth, under his vehicle and confronted him. Danforth denied being under the vehicle and fled the scene in a green pickup truck, police said.

While investigating, officers found damage to the exhaust pipe of the victim’s vehicle near the catalytic converter, an exhaust-emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants emitted by the vehicle. Police observed a large cut in the metal in an apparent attempt to steal the converter. The cut was consistent with the use of a portable electric saw, police said.

The following day, officers spotted a green pickup truck and a man matching Danforth’s description driving past Copper Sky. Police stopped him and noted a portable electric saw and a freshly cut catalytic converter inside the vehicle. Danforth admitted to the attempted theft of the converter from the previous day because he lost money at the local casino and planned to sell it, police said.

Danforth was placed under arrest and found to be in possession of 0.6 grams of methamphetamine in his pant pocket, according to the report.

Danforth was booked into Pinal County Jail.

Donald Gadson (PCSO)

A Maricopa man was arrested on multiple charges after a shooting Sunday in Rancho El Dorado that sent one victim to the hospital.

Donald Gadson, 33, was charged with aggravated assault, endangerment, disorderly conduct, criminal damage and weapons misconduct after a physical dispute broke out between Gadson and another man, identified as Kalib Kimbrough, police said.

Police responded to multiple calls on West Hall Court in reference to a fight taking place in the area. Officers arrived at Gadson’s home after details from nearby neighbors claimed Gadson had opened fire on a fleeing vehicle. Maricopa officers located three shell casings in front of Gadson’s home and proceeded to clear the residence.

The firearm in question was found on a pool table near the front door, police said. When making contact with Gadson, police reported seeing injuries to the left side of his face.

According to the police report, Gadson said he was a tattoo artist and had gotten into a fight with Kimbrough, the boyfriend of his intimate partner’s cousin. He told police that he had received a Facebook message from Kimbrough that read, “CAP i’m outside”.

When Gadson came outside, he claimed Kimbrough was in a fighting stance in the driveway. Kimbrough allegedly approached Gadson in the garage, picked him up and slammed him to the floor. Kimbrough allegedly began holding Gadson by his dreadlocks and punching him in the face as well as hitting him with a license plate found in the garage, police said.

Kimbrough began heading back to his vehicle, and Gadson told police he was fearful Kimbrough was going to come back with a gun. In response, Gadson said he made his way to a dresser in the garage to obtain a firearm in the top drawer, which he began firing at Kimbrough.

Gadson said he thought he struck the rear window and rear door of the vehicle.

Maricopa Police dispatch was later contacted by the Casa Grande Police Department, which had officers with Kimbrough and his girlfriend near the Frito Lay plant on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. CGPD stated Kimbrough had a gunshot wound and was being airlifted to Casa Grande Banner Hospital. Kimbrough was transferred to Chandler Regional Hospital and is currently in stable condition, police said.

Gadson was placed under arrest and booked into Pinal County Jail.

A suspect was arrested after a shooting Sunday in Rancho El Dorado that sent one victim to the hospital.

The suspect, who has not been identified, allegedly fired into a vehicle that was driving away from the scene of a dispute between individuals around noon Sunday, according to Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado.

Three shots were fired at the car, injuring the passenger, according to police.

Police did not provide a street address for the shooting.

“The victim was struck and later flown to a Valley hospital in critical condition but later upgraded to stable condition,” Alvarado said. “We are not looking for outstanding suspect(s) and this doesn’t appear at this time to be a random act of violence. The suspect was arrested and booked into PSCO jail in Florence.”

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

A Maricopa woman is facing assault charges after her arrest early Thursday morning.

Katrina Montano, 37, was charged with aggravated assault and two counts of criminal damage after an incident with her husband, police said.

Around 5 a.m. Maricopa police said they were dispatched to a home on West Almira Drive in Glennwilde for a report of an alleged assault. Arriving at the residence, officers made contact with Katrina Montano and questioned her about the situation, police said. Montano told police that she had driven to another woman’s house in Homestead to confront her husband, identified as Estevan Montano, for allegedly cheating on her, police said.

According to the police report, Montano said she located her husband on the side of the woman’s home and struck him several times in the face and back with a baseball bat. Several windows were also damaged at the home as well as the front door and Estevan Montano’s vehicle, according to police.

Montano was arrested and booked into Pinal County Jail, police said.

Branden Wiley and David Santos (PCSO)

Two Casa Grande men are facing drug charges after their arrest Tuesday in the City of Maricopa.

Branden Wiley, 39, and David Santos, 32, were charged with possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia after a police officer contacted them for illegal dumping in Homestead, police said.

Around 2 a.m., a Maricopa police officer noticed a Ford F-150 driving around homes still under construction, stopping in front of several dumpsters used by the builders. Two males were seen getting out of the truck and allegedly started throwing items from the truck bed into the dumpsters, police said.

When contacted by police, the two men identified each other as Wiley and Santos. They allegedly kept discarding items into the dumpsters until ordered to stop by the officer. When questioned about any illegal items in the vehicle, the two men seemed nervous, and Santos would only look at the ground. Wiley denied permission for the officer to search his vehicle, according to the police report.

A K-9 unit was requested to assist on scene. K-9 Murphy performed a search around the vehicle and alerted officers to something on the front left side of the pickup truck. A full search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a “torch lighter” in the center console and a small Ziploc bag of crystallized white substance in an overhead compartment. The substance tested positive for methamphetamine, police said.

Wiley and Santos claimed the meth was not theirs and continued to deny ownership of the items.

Both men were booked into Pinal County Jail.

Ike and K-9 officer Craig Curry. (MPD)

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said Tuesday it will investigate the tragic and suspicious death of a Maricopa K-9.

On Monday night, Maricopa Police Chief Steve Stahl announced in a YouTube video titled “Critical Incident Notification” that the dog, Ike, died from “heat-related causes.”

Stahl said he had requested DPS to look into the K-9’s death over the weekend for accountability and transparency reasons. The circumstances of the Friday night incident are unknown and the animal’s department handler was not identified.

K-9 Ike had served the Maricopa police force for almost 11 years before his passing, Stahl said.

“Officers and professional veterinary staff locally and in metropolitan Phoenix did everything possible to save his life,” Stahl said. “Ike passed away on Saturday June 27th at approximately 4 a.m. This loss impacts us all greatly.”

Sgt. Kameron Lee of DPS said Tuesday morning that he could only confirm that the agency was in the early stages of conducting an investigation.

“We don’t have any additional information to release at this time,” Lee said.

 

Maricopa police, firefighters and EMS responded to a crash at SR 347 and Honeycutt Avenue just before noon Monday. There were no serious injuries, according to Fire Deputy Chief Chris Bolinger.

“(It was) a two-vehicle accident. No patients transported via ambulance and extrication was not required,” he said.

Traffic was reduced to one lane at the scene but has since opened back up to regular traffic.

A Maricopa man is facing multiple charges after police allegedly found $5,000 in counterfeit bills in his vehicle.

Patrick Kanoti, 33, was arrested Wednesday and charged with forgery, DUI and drug possession, according to police.

Kanoti was the subject of a welfare check by Maricopa police around midnight when officers approached his vehicle parked at QuikTrip on North John Wayne Parkway, police said.

Kanoti identified himself to police and an open container of alcohol was visible in the center console of his vehicle, police said. When an officer pointed out the open container, Kanoti allegedly attempted to flee the scene on foot before he was captured and detained by police in the parking lot, according to a police report.

Kanoti smelled strongly of alcohol and allegedly admitted to police that he had been drinking prior to driving to QuikTrip, police said. After performing a field sobriety test, officers arrested him for driving under the influence, police said.

When conducting a probable cause search of Kanoti’s vehicle, police allegedly discovered a baggie of marijuana and $5,000 worth of counterfeit bills. When interviewed at the city police station, he allegedly claimed ownership of the counterfeits, police said.

Kanoti was booked into Pinal County Jail but has since been released, according to Pinal County’s online inmate search.

Daniel Duenas (PCSO)

A Maricopa man is facing assault and disorderly conduct charges after his arrest Wednesday.

Daniel Duenas, 42, was charged after an incident with his girlfriend at their residence on North Gatun Avenue in Alterra, police said.

Around 6 p.m., Maricopa police arrived at the home and spoke with Duena’s girlfriend, who stated that he allegedly assaulted her. Officers observed obvious signs of physical injury to the shoulder area as well as her forearm. Scratches were also seen on her skin, police said.

The woman told police she tried to leave the home with her children but was allegedly grabbed by Duenas and told she could not leave. When police interviewed Duenas, he claimed he refused to let them leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic and denied assaulting her.

Citing the physical evidence, police arrested Duenas, who was booked into Pinal County Jail.

Victor A Aguirre (PCSO)

A Maricopa man is facing assault and disorderly conduct charges after his arrest Saturday.

Victor Aguirre, 29, was charged with domestic violence assault and disorderly conduct after an incident at a residence on West Alexis Avenue in Homestead, police said.

Around 10 p.m., Maricopa police dispatch received a call from a woman who said her brother, Victor Aguirre, was being aggressive after a verbal argument broke out over cleaning out the dishwasher. Police said Aguirre was said to be screaming in his sister’s face, not liking the way she talked to him. She told police the home was hers and she lived there with her father. Aguirre stayed there on occasion, she said.

While officers were en route to the home on the initial 911 call, the sister called again to report Aguirre had left the residence and headed in an unknown direction, police said.

According to the police report, the sister and father told officers that Aguirre threw several items off the kitchen table as well as VHS tapes. Aguirre allegedly pushed his sister down on the couch, then pushed his father who tried to get between the siblings, police said.

Aguirre was found at a local park and arrested without incident. He was later booked into Pinal County Jail.

A hit-and-run driver caused a three-car accident on Thursday afternoon that blocked a lane of traffic on North John Wayne Parkway at West Smith Enke Road.

The driver of a pick-up truck drove off after rear-ending a black Kia Soul, forcing it into the back of a red Ford Fusion, according to police.

One driver was taken to a Valley hospital with life-threatening injuries, said Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado.

Police are searching for a “90’s model pickup with front end damage pulling a trailer, last seen heading north on 347,” he said.

If you have any information on the suspect, please contact Maricopa police. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Anthony Alaniz (PCSO)

A Maricopa man is facing aggravated assault charges on an outstanding warrant after his arrest Thursday.

Anthony Alaniz, 22, was charged with aggravated assault on an officer on a warrant issued by Pinal County Superior Court in March, police said.

According to Maricopa police, officers were dispatched around midnight to a location near Desert Cedars on John Wayne Parkway in response to a report of an allegedly intoxicated man staggering into the roadway. When located by police, the man was identified as Alaniz. Making his way up the sidewalk of the SR 347 overpass, police contacted Alaniz, who identified himself.

Police dispatchers notified officers that Alaniz had a warrant out for his arrest with a bond of $2,000 for alleged aggravated assault of an officer, according to information from the Arizona Supreme Court.

Alaniz was arrested and booked into Pinal County Jail.

A Maricopa man is facing disorderly conduct charges after his arrest Monday.

Ken Van, 53, was charged with domestic violence related disorderly conduct after an incident at their home on North Santa Cruz Drive in the Villages, police said.

Ken Van (PCSO)

According to Maricopa police, Van and his wife arrived home around midnight after a night of gambling and drinking at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. The woman told police that her husband became angry when she went to the backyard and called her sister, taking her cellphone and throwing it away. She said Van continued to follow her through the house and began yelling at her. She attempted to get away from Van in their bedroom but the door had been broken down by her husband two weeks earlier, she told police.

The woman told police that she feared for her safety when Van drinks, alleging he had physically assaulted her in the past and acts in this way every two to three days. She said she has been too embarrassed to call 911 in the past, police said.

While on the scene, officers said they made multiple attempts to have Van call someone to pick him up and separate himself from the situation, but he refused. He appeared intoxicated and stated multiple times that he had done nothing wrong, police said.

Van was arrested and booked into Pinal County Jail

Theft, specifically shoplifting, spiked during the stay at home order.

 

In recent weeks, national news reports have documented a rise in domestic violence and suicide cases as people quarantined at home during the pandemic.

“Now, with families in lockdown worldwide,” the New York Times reported in April, “hotlines are lighting up with abuse reports, leaving governments trying to address a crisis that experts say they should have seen coming.”

The City of Maricopa, however, has not seen dramatic increases in domestics and suicides, according to officials, though some other categories of crime have spiked in recent months.

According to data provided by the Maricopa Police Department, the category of assaults that includes reported domestic abuse has increased 5% in March over the same period last year. (There were 45 related arrests in March, officials said.)

Both Maricopa Police and Fire/Medical departments report they have seen no noticeable spikes in behavioral health calls, normally attributed to suicide and suicide attempts.

But that may not be the whole story.

Meagan MacCleary, community service program director of Against Abuse Inc., a Pinal County organization that provide services to domestic violence victims, predicts cases will stack up once the pandemic is over.

“Now, more than ever, victims have fewer opportunities to make private phone calls to reach out for help since they are confined in the home with their abuser,” she said. “It’s too early to have any statistics yet on exactly how much domestic violence has increased in Pinal County during this pandemic, but we are ready and prepared to assist victims who reach out once these unprecedented times are over.”

With this perspective in mind, organizations like Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV) have created a guide on how victims can contact help safely during the small moments of solitude they have.

ACESDV strongly recommends victims create a hidden “go-bag” of essentials, including a phone charger, money, medication and food that can be quickly grabbed for an escape from an abusive household if needed. Victims may find it easier to call a domestic abuse hotline during a walk outside, assuming it is safe to do so.

The fallout of COVID-19 has led to an increase in other types of crime.

Statistics on crime occurring since the onset of the pandemic, for instance, show a strong spike in the number of thefts, mostly incidents of retail shoplifting, according to MPD spokesperson Ricardo Alvarado. There were 63 theft arrests in March, an increase of 250% over the same period in 2019. There were 20 arrests and 18 arrests in 2019 and 2018, respectively, for theft.

Typically, shoplifting incidents include electronics and higher ticket items. During the coronavirus quarantine, however, thefts increasingly include household items such as cleaning supplies, food and clothing, according to city officials. In an arrest report published on InMaricopa.com, a woman charged with shoplifting at Walmart had targeted items such as Kool-Aid packets, loungewear and water filters.

With the downturn of the economy and unemployment reaching levels reminiscent of the Great Depression nationwide, Alvarado believes this type of theft will continue to be a trend. The effects of COVID-19 are far and wide, and the full impact on crime in Maricopa may not be known for some time.


This story appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

William Flammia (PCSO)

A local man is facing assault charges after his arrest Saturday morning.

William Flammia, 31, was charged with aggravated assault after an argument involving two women in his vehicle ended with injury, police said.

According to the report by Maricopa police, Flammia was in the driver’s seat of a 2017 Hyundai Tucson at the QuikTrip gas station on John Wayne Parkway, accompanied by a woman in the passenger seat and another in the back seat, identified as Yamen Gharibeh and Wedad Alostaz, respectively.

The two women began arguing when Alostaz was accused of stealing items from Gharibeh’s purse, police said. Upon review of surveillance footage from the QuikTrip, police could see Alostaz exit the Hyundai during the argument.

Flammia then backed up the vehicle while the door was still ajar, allegedly striking Alostaz and knocking her to the ground, police said. Alostaz had visible injuries to her left arm, shoulder and both feet, police said.

Flammia and Gharibeh allegedly fled the scene after the incident and abandoned the vehicle at the Denny’s restaurant, off West Smith-Enke Road, before taking an Uber to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, police said.

Flammia was detained by Ak-Chin Indian Community police at the casino and turned over to the Maricopa Police Department.

He was booked into Pinal County Jail.

Jason A. Bayt (PCSO)

A Maricopa man is facing DUI and drug charges after his arrest Tuesday morning.

Jason Bayt, 41, was charged with aggravated DUI, drug DUI, possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia after being found passed out in his vehicle in front of Circle K on Honeycutt Road, according to police.

Maricopa police responded to report from a Circle K employee about a man “slumped over” on the steering wheel of his vehicle in the gas station’s parking lot. When officers arrived, they observed the vehicle still running with Bayt’s foot on the brake pedal. According to the report, officers opened the car door and shook Bayt awake. Police said Bayt had bloodshot eyes and droopy eyelids and alleged he had items in his hand and lap, including “a torch” and tin foil papers with burnt residue, “typically a sign of methamphetamine drug use.” This led to the suspicion of impairment, police said.

When asked by police if he had any weapons in his possession, Bayt told police he had a gun on his right hip. Officers removed and secured the firearm and asked Bayt to exit his vehicle to conduct a field sobriety test. Bayt informed officers that his license was suspended due to a prior DUI conviction, according to police.

After conducting a field sobriety test, police determined Bayt was impaired. During a search of Bayt’s pockets, officers allegedly found a glass pipe and a metal straw with burnt residue, believed to be methamphetamine, police said.

While performing a probable cause search of Bayt’s vehicle, police allegedly found a black bag containing a smaller case of .7 grams of meth.

During the investigation, police said they determined that Bayt was under the influence of methamphetamine, according to the report.

Bayt was arrested and booked into Pinal County Jail. According to inmate records, he has since been released.

 

A local man faces multiple charges after a traffic stop on the corner of Hogenes Boulevard and Holly Drive.

Demetrius Davis, 28, was charged with aggravated DUI on a suspended driver’s license, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, and misconduct with weapons, police said.

According to a police report, an officer stopped Davis around 11 p.m. after observing his vehicle swerving across lanes and exceeding speeds of 50 mph in residential areas.

When officers approached the vehicle to speak with him, Davis said he pleaded the 4th and 5th Amendments, police said. When asked if he had anything to drink, Davis allegedly refused to answer, according to the report. A strong odor of marijuana and alcohol emanated from the vehicle, said police, who noted Davis had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.

Davis was arrested for failure to provide a driver’s license while police conducted a probable cause search in his vehicle. Officers located marijuana and drug paraphernalia along with opened and unopened beer containers, police said.

Once Maricopa Police Dispatch identified Davis, it was revealed he had a suspended Arizona driver’s license. Blood was drawn for DUI testing and Davis was booked into Pinal County Jail.

Sarah Finch, 30, was arrested April 27 on numerous charges including child abuse, aggravated assault, endangerment and disorderly conduct.

The arrest stemmed from a report March 20 when Maricopa Police responded to call on West Portobello Road on a delayed report of child abuse. The man reporting the abuse stated his girlfriend came home intoxicated March 6, instigating a fight. The woman, later identified as Finch, allegedly kicked and hit the man and two children. The man stated Finch threw multiple items at the children and continued to hit them.

Sarah Finch (PCSO)

According to reports by police, Finch’s other two biological children, accompanied by their friends, witnessed the altercation. The man provided video recordings from his cellphone of Finch’s actions. Police allege the videos show Finch throwing a bottle of hand sanitizer at one of the kids and hitting the man while he held a child, as well as the child crying as if being struck by Finch.

Some of the children had a forensic interview with officers and confirmed the man’s story and the actions shown in the video footage. Finch allegedly smashed glass items on the floor by throwing them at the family and attempted to pull one of the children to the front door. Finch left the residence during the initial call to the police.

Finch was arrested more than a month later when she eventually returned and was booked at Pinal County Jail.

Veronica Cervantes (PCSO photo)

Veronica Cervantes, 40, was arrested Monday on expected charges of third-degree criminal trespassing and shoplifting.

Maricopa Police were dispatched to Walmart around 2 p.m. in response to a call about two “known” shoplifters trespassing in the store. Loss prevention made the call to police and identified the subjects as Veronica Cervantes and Renee Amador. The two women were allegedly concealing items in a black purse, which was described as growing larger over time.

Police officers met with loss prevention personnel, who told them Cervantes and Amador were in the self check-out area of the store. Police entered the store and met Amador, who was still scanning some items. According to the MPD report, she was placed under arrest for trespassing and transported to the loss prevention office.

Cervantes had walked away to another aisle before police entered the store, so they searched up and down aisles for her. Once she was located, Cervantes allegedly began to walk away from officers. The black purse said to be full of stolen items was observed in her possession. Police placed her under arrest.

Merchandise allegedly found in the black purse included packets of Kool-Aid, a water filter, video games, loungewear and a deck of cards, according to the report. The total of the items came out to $137.43.

When questioned, Cervantes allegedly admitted to shoplifting and she said she did not plan to pay for the items despite having the money to do so. Cervantes had previously been convicted of shoplifting in 2000, 2002, and 2019.

Veronica Cervantes was booked in Pinal County Jail.

MPD Chief Steve Stahl

Maricopa Police Chief Steve Stahl believes a new position in the department could enforce its goal to “make every contact excellent” and make local law enforcement more effective. This new hire would be a civilian investigation specialist (CIS).

The characteristics of a CIS include the ability to perform investigations for non-emergency criminal incidents such as fraud, threat, identity theft, missing persons, etc. They do not carry a gun and mainly focus on cases that do not require a sworn police officer. Stahl said the position was an important part of the police force in his prior jurisdiction of Mesa.

“We had CISs toward the end of my career there,” he said. “They proved to be very fruitful in the investigations. They took the extra time. They have been on my first list to hire for about the past three to four years. Because funding has been relatively tight, that hasn’t been the priority.”

Currently, sworn officers perform interviews and interactions for all cases, emergency or otherwise. This can become a tough balancing act for engaging with each reporting party equally. Stahl’s hypothetical for the need illustrated an officer potentially having to leave an investigation prematurely to direct traffic after a serious accident. With the use of a CIS, the interruption would not pull them away from the investigation at hand.

“We live in a bedroom community where people work in Maricopa County,” Stahl said. “The civilian investigation specialist actually calls the victim and schedules an appointment to meet with them about the crime that occurred. They investigate on the victim’s time.”

Detective Jason Flam with Mesa PD agrees with Stahl’s philosophy and finds civilian investigators to be a key factor in great customer service. Waiting times for victims are also expressed as a main concern for the department.

“A lot of times people felt victimized a second time because of the amount of time they had to wait for an officer to arrive,” Flam said. “By having civilian investigators respond to incidents, it helps keep officers freed up to respond to more serious public safety issues, where people may be in danger, such as a domestic violence incident or a robbery.”

With 40%-50% of MPD’s calls for service being delayed reports of non-emergency crimes, civilian investigation specialists are a cost-effective option for the City of Maricopa, the chief said. Not being armed with ballistic gear or a firearm, coupled with a lower salary, the position would fit in a budget that complements the growth of Maricopa. In the same vein, more sworn officers will still be recruited because of the city’s rapid growth, Stahl said. Careful spending with the taxpayer dollar has been a primary concern for MPD.

Training for civilian investigators would be done for approximately 10 weeks with department detectives as well as first responding supervisors. They will be taught how to collect evidence, interview witnesses and have access to the police records management system. For these reasons, a CIS’s background check needs to come up as clean as a sworn officer’s should.

An exact timeline for hiring a CIS remains unknown until the beginning of the fiscal year.

With authorization for two hires, Stahl emphasizes the process will be determined once they know the full impact on city revenue by COVID-19.

“It all depends on revenue projections,” Stahl said. “I think it is a very desirable position. I’m hoping there will be a ton of interested people.”

Pinal County Sheriff's Office has so far kept its number of coronavirus cases at the adult detention center to zero.

Local crime stories have been less frequent in the last few weeks. While it has been fairly quiet in the City of Maricopa, police arrests and the booking process have been impacted by COVID-19.

With the rise of coronavirus cases in Arizona the past two months, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has asked city leaders to use their best judgment with prisoners they arrest and plan on booking, only booking those they consider absolutely necessary.

These practices and procedures have been put in place in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus within the jail system and eliminate unnecessary spread to officers and inmates alike.

“All inmates are being screened for signs of illness by our contracted medical staff. In the event they receive a symptomatic inmate, they would immediately place an N95 respirator on the inmate and place them in the reverse airflow room,” PSCO spokesperson Lauren Reimer said. “We hoped these changes would decrease the chances of introducing the virus at our jail, and to date, we have had zero inmates test positive for COVID-19.”

By comparison, a prison in Florence has 23 confirmed cases.

In the most recent installment of “Coffee with the Chief,” Maricopa Police Chief Steve Stahl addressed efforts made in Maricopa to keep the community and officers safe during interactions The use of PPE for police was a highlight for the department as well as handling more non-life-threatening 911 cases over the phone.

Preliminary questions such as recent travels overseas, coronavirus symptoms and known contact with infected individuals are asked before each interaction, whether on the phone or in person. Meeting officers curbside has also been implemented in some cases.

“At the beginning of every day we have thermometers to take the temperature of every employee that enters our buildings,” Stahl said during the live event. “We want to make sure to keep everyone safe.”

Though continuing to make arrests, MPD is booking fewer suspects. (MPD photo)

Offenses such as burglary and assault have still ended in being booked into Pinal County Jail, while other cases such as a past incident involving trespassing were closed with long-form charges instead of an arrest. Reimer believes this case-by-case basis for absolutely necessary arrests has been successful so far.

“The number of bookings at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center has been reduced thanks to the willingness to cooperate from our city agencies,” she said. “We believe it is because of this partnership our county has been able to successfully manage the virus in our inmate and community populations.

Community members have decorated the entry to the MPD station with chalk art of support. (MPD photo)

Around 7:30 p.m. Thursday police responded to a call of a one-vehicle accident involving an ATV at the corner of Glennwilde and Honeycutt Road. While still under investigation, the rider is suspected of being impaired.

The rider was not wearing any protective equipment when the accident occurred, according to Maricopa Police Department. Details are still being gathered on exactly what happened.

Maricopa locals claiming to be witnesses to the accident said the rider was driving the ATV with no lights on before the incident. Afterward, by-passers said he bleeding from a head injury. The identity of the rider has not been released as the investigation is still open.

“(The) rider was transported to a valley hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Charges pending blood results,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said.

Further information will be updated as it becomes available.

Anthony Harvey (PCSO)

 

Anthony Harvey, 32, was arrested April 3 on suspected charges of weapon misconduct and false reporting. He could also be charged with driving under the influence, but blood tests are still pending.

Maricopa Police performed a traffic stop on a vehicle around 1 a.m. at the corner of Honeycutt Avenue and John Wayne Parkway. When approaching the vehicle, a smell of burnt marijuana was allegedly coming from the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Harvey. When asked by officers if there were any weapons in the vehicle, Harvey stated he had a gun in the trunk.

The firearm was located upon a search of the vehicle and was later impounded as evidence. According to the police report, “Anthony was ultimately arrested for DUI and DUI charges pending lab results.”

Officers performed a criminal history check that revealed Harvey as a convicted felon previously serving time in prison, which prohibited him from possessing a firearm. Police noted the Gangster Disciples as a gang associated with Harvey.

When questioned, Harvey allegedly was dishonest and claimed he had never been arrested before. Based on, “interfering with the orderly operation of his arrest,” Harvey received additional charges from MPD and was transported to Pinal County Jail.

Blood test results for DUI charges against Harvey are still pending.

Dorae Scott (PCSO)

Dorae Scott, 50, was arrested Thursday on multiple charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, obstructing a criminal investigation, unlawful discharge of a firearm and endangerment after a shooting incident in Desert Cedars.

April 4 around 10 p.m., Scott, driven by his wife, traveled from a location North Greythorn Drive in Desert Cedars to a home on West Windrose Drive, according to Maricopa Police Department. Scott allegedly intended to confront a man that was dating his daughter. Scott allegedly was in possession of a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun during the encounter.

Upon arrival, Scott spoke with the boyfriend, and the interaction turned physical when Scott punched the man in the face, according to the report.

Scott took cover behind a vehicle where four female relatives were standing. According to the report, “Dorae retrieved a handgun from his waistband and pulled the slide, ejecting one live round.”

The boyfriend told police he saw Scott’s weapon and proceeded to fire his own gun into the air in self-defense while running toward a backyard. The man claimed he continued firing his weapon as he ran in an attempt to keep Scott from shooting him.

Scott was reported taking at least one shot at the man, missing him and striking a home on Windrose Drive. The man stated he did not know Scott and feared for his life.

Police investigated the incident and made contact with both the alleged victim and Scott. Scott denied possessing any kind of firearm or firing one. He later admitted to both acts as well as driving away from the scene when officers responded to the incident, according to the report. He also stated his wife, who was his driver that evening, threw the handgun out the window of the vehicle after she saw police arriving. Scott claimed the gun landed in a landscaped area near Desert Cedars Drive but was unable to find it when he returned to the area the next day.

Dorae Scott was placed under arrest and booked into Pinal County Jail.

Christopher Yellowhair, 27, was arrested April 5 on suspected charges of aggravated assault.

Officers were dispatched to CVS on West Smith-Enke Road, responding to an apparent assault that took place. Details from the reporting party stated that a male and female were physically fighting. The male involved, later identified as Christopher Yellowhair, was seen walking away from the scene by officers upon arrival.

Christopher Yellowhair (PCSO)

Crossing John Wayne Parkway, Yellowhair allegedly began running toward Circle K after spotting police driving toward him. He ultimately came to a stop at the crosswalk and identified himself to officers.

Yellowhair was allegedly “verbally aggressive,” telling officers to take their badges off and refused to explain what happened at CVS. Another officer still at CVS identified the woman as Yellowhair’s girlfriend and observed fresh, red marks around her neck. The caller who reported the incident told officers he saw Yellowhair with both hands around the woman’s throat and heard her scream.

Yellowhair is accused of forcing her to the ground and standing over her while yelling. While she did not lose consciousness, the woman complained of a headache.

The woman told police the altercation began after Yellowhair accused her of cheating as they pulled into the CVS parking lot.

Christopher Yellowhair was booked into Pinal County Jail.

Vape Etc. suffered a break-in last week.

 

Nathaniel Dusenberry, 19, was arrested April 2 on expected charges of third-degree burglary, criminal damage and theft.

Around midnight March 28, video surveillance captured a man breaking into the Vape Etc. shop located in The Shops at Maricopa Fiesta. The man allegedly broke the storefront window, gaining access to the shop and stealing approximately 300 vape devices.

Police reported another individual with knowledge of the burglary stated the man was, in fact, Dusenberry. Officers located and arrested Dusenberry at his home on West Mountain View Road in Maricopa. Dusenberry allegedly admitted to the burglary and was still in possession of some of the stolen items, according to the report.

Dusenberry was transported to Pinal County Jail, and the window damage to the Vape Etc.’s shop has since been repaired.

SEE UPDATE


At approximately 10:20 p.m. Saturday night, Maricopa Police responded to several reports of shots fired in Desert Cedars.

While no injuries were reported, there was damage done to a vehicle involved, according to police. MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado stated the shooting was not a random act, and investigators are still working the case at this time.

“We believe everyone involved has been identified,” Alvarado said. “This is all we are releasing at this time.”

Witnesses said up to nine shots were fired during an altercation.

Information will be updated as it becomes available.

Jared Metts (PCSO)

Jared Metts, 35, was arrested Thursday on expected charges of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct.

Maricopa Police responded to a call on West Oakland Drive in Cobblestone Farms around midnight referencing an assault. The caller told MPD two men were arguing in the backyard and one of them was allegedly hit in the leg with a cinder block. Officers made contact with the injured man, who was lying on the kitchen floor of the home “with a large laceration on his lower left leg.”

The man who threw the block was later identified as Metts. He had fled on foot shortly after the incident. Police made contact with the caller who gave a description of Metts’s clothes. She stated she did not witness the altercation but was able to hear the argument and saw the cinder block in Metts’s hands. He was described as wearing a white shirt and having a black backpack.

Police located Metts a few minutes away around 3 a.m., standing at someone’s front door with no shirt or backpack. He identified himself verbally to police and was immediately placed under arrest. When questioned, he allegedly stated he had been drinking that night and had no recollection of the assault.

Officers located Metts’s belongings on the side of the home and observed scratches on his legs and arms they described as consistent with climbing over walls.

Jared Metts was also found to have a confirmed warrant out of Flagstaff. He was booked into Pinal County Jail.

Gov. Doug Ducey

“Stay home, Stay healthy, Stay connected” – that’s what the state is asking of fellow Arizonans in the continued effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The latest Executive Order issued today by Governor Doug Ducey follows new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and comes at the recommendation of public health officials who are tracking data specific to Arizona. The Governor’s order promotes increased physical distancing, while encouraging social connectedness among citizens. It takes place at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, March 31, 2020.

“Keeping Arizonans safe and healthy as we slow the spread of COVID-19 remains our top priority,” said Governor Ducey. “Arizona citizens and businesses are already responsibly responding to this crisis. This order builds on the state’s efforts to protect public health by reminding Arizonans to maintain healthy habits and find alternative ways to stay connected with friends and loved ones while spending time at home. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will ensure we build capacity in our healthcare system, and help protect the lives of those we love most. It’s important to emphasize that there are no plans to shut down grocery stores. People should continue to buy what you need for a week’s worth of groceries. I’m grateful to everyone making adjustments to fight this virus and protect others. Arizona will get through this, and we’ll do it together.”

Under the Executive Order, Arizonans shall limit their time away from their place of residence or property, except:

  • To conduct or participate in essential activities, and/or;

  • For employment, to volunteer or participate in essential functions; or

  • To utilize any services or products provided by essential business services;

  • And for employment if as a sole proprietor or family owned business, work is conducted in a separate office space from your home and the business is not open to serve the public.

On March 23, Governor Ducey issued an Executive Order clarifying businesses and operations deemed “essential” and providing certainty to business owners, employees and families.

Under today’s order, Arizonans are also encouraged to improve social connectedness by:

  • Maintaining ongoing connections and communication with current social supports and structures such as family, friends, neighbors and other social groups;

  • Educating fellow Arizonans on the negative health impacts of social isolation;

  • And developing habits and activities that increase resilience, such as physical activity, virtual social gatherings, assisting neighbors, implementing or participating in connection campaigns for at risk populations, and participating in volunteer activities.

Under this policy, essential activities include:

  • Obtaining necessary supplies and services for family, household members and pets, such as groceries, food and supplies for household consumption and use, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, assignments for completion of distance learning and products necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and essential maintenance of the home, residence.

  • Engaging in activities essential for health and safety, including things such as seeking medical, behavioral health or emergency services and obtaining medical supplies or medication.

  • Caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another household or residence, which includes but is not limited to transportation for essential health and safety activities and to obtain necessary supplies and services for the other household.

  • Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running, biking or golfing, but only if appropriate physical distancing practices are used.

  • Attending work in or conducting essential services which includes but is not limited to transporting children to child care services for attending work in an essential service.

  • Engaging in constitutionally protected activities such as speech and religion, the democratic process to include voting any legal or court process provided that such is conducted in a manner that provides appropriate physical distancing to the extent feasible.

Already, Arizona has taken proactive steps to slow the spread of COVID-19.

On March 11, Governor Ducey issued a declaration of a Public Health State of Emergency to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and mitigate the spread of the disease.

On March 15, a statewide school closure was issued in coordination with Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. Today, it was extended through the end of the school year, following CDC guidance.

Many businesses have already greatly reduced their hours and operations as directed by health officials and in an effort to protect the public health and slow the spread of COVID-19.

On March 17th, following updated guidance from the CDC, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) issued updated guidance that included canceling or postponing gatherings of 10 or more people, recommending telework and other alternatives, restricting access to nursing homes, retirement homes and long-term care facilities to provide critical assistance, and providing recommendations to restaurants and eating establishments to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

On March 19th, Governor Ducey required restaurants in Arizona counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases to provide dine-out options only and required all bars, gyms and movie theaters in those counties to close. That same day, Governor Duey halted all elective surgeries in the state of Arizona to free up medical resources and maintain the capacity for hospitals and providers to continue offering vital services.

View a full list of actions HERE.

Last week, Governor Ducey launched the Arizona Together initiative to support Arizonans during the COVID-19 outbreak, connecting individuals and businesses to resources, raising money for community organizations and providing information on volunteer opportunities. The website, ArizonaTogether.org, also features tools for mental health support for individuals and families facing changes and stress as a result of COVID-19.

View the Executive Order encouraging Arizonans to stay home, stay healthy and stay connected HERE.

View daily Arizona COVID-19 updates from ADHS HERE.

Rebekah Leon, 50, was detained by police on March 17 on suspicion of trespassing in the first degree.

Around 3 p.m. officers responded to a call on West Chambers Drive in Rancho El Dorado referencing a potential trespassing situation. Officers were in contact with the reporting party via phone call, who identified herself as the mother of Rebekah Leon.

The woman told police that she was in California and was notified by a neighbor watching the residence that Leon was inside the home. The woman wanted her daughter removed.

Police learned that Leon had lived in the home prior to moving to New York In November. Leon’s mother stated she should not have a key to the home, suspecting she must have broken in. Police arrived at the home, where they received a key to the home from the neighbor house-sitting.

Officers knocked on the front door and announced their presence. No one answered. Knocking again and looking through the front window, police saw a Leon in the home, refusing to come to the front door.

Police attempted to use the key to unlock the door, but it did not fit. They noted a small hole and shavings coming out of the keyhole. Officers brought a K9 unit and successfully unlocked the back door of the home with the key. After they re-announcing their presence, Leon came out. She was on her phone, claiming she was talking to her mother.

Leon allegedly claimed she had just flown back from New York due to issues with her roommates. She stated while the residence was her mother’s house, she considered it a family home. She confirmed she did move out in November of last year but lived in the home for years previously.

When asked why she did not get permission to be in the home, Leon said she did not have a good relationship with her mother. She allegedly showed police a receipt for a locksmith she hired to get her in the home. The locksmith drilled into the front door lock until it opened. She reportedly showed the locksmith identification listing the address of the home.

Rebekah Leon was cited with long-form charges for trespassing instead of being arrested and booked into jail.

“Due to COVID-19 we have asked our community police departments to only book those who they consider absolutely necessary,” Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Lauren Reimer said.