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MPD

Richard Tow (PCSO photo)

Richard Tow, 54, was accused of possession of a dangerous drug and drug paraphernalia Dec. 6 after officers stopped a vehicle he was driving on North John Wayne Parkway.

Maricopa Police officers smelt the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and asked Tow if he had a medical marijuana card. He said he did not and admitted to officers he smoked marijuana earlier in the day, according to the MPD probable cause statement.

During a search, a black case containing white crystals was located in his pocket by officers. A glass pipe was also located with white residue on it during the search. Tow was taken to the Pinal County Jail as the substance tested positive as methamphetamine.

Michael Lewis (PCSO photo)

Michael J. Lewis, 39, was arrested on an active warrant by Maricopa Police on Monday. Lewis was also allegedly in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine and an unused syringe.

Police conducted a traffic stop at 9:34 p.m. at Circle K located at 18141 N. John Wayne Parkway. A passenger in the front seat of the vehicle verbally identified himself as Michael Lewis, who was wanted on an active warrant with a bond amount of $4,006. He was placed under arrest.

According to the MPD report, the small amount of meth was located in a folded receipt along with the syringe in his pockets. Lewis confirmed to officers that it was meth and that he was planning to inject it using the syringe, according to police report’s probable-cause statements.

Lewis was booked into the Pinal County Jail for the active warrant, possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

ADOT

Cattle being transported through Maricopa “fell out” of a truck Wednesday. Some were injured and others scattered along Farrell Road, State Route 347 and Ak-Chin’s Juan Street neighborhood.

Maricopa Police and Ak-Chin Police both responded to the scene as the cows became a road hazard. Officers found at least two animals immobilized by the accident, with at least one having to be dispatched by the owner.

Officers rounded up the cattle while waiting for a transport truck from Stanfield.

First responders prepare to transport and injured man to an ambulance in Maricopa Meadows. Photo by Kyle Norby

A pedestrian crossing a boulevard in Maricopa Meadows was struck by a minivan and had to be transported to a hospital Tuesday afternoon.

According to Maricopa Police Department, the 69-year-old man was on a push scooter when he crossed in front of traffic mid-block in a location without a crosswalk. The white minivan was traveling about 30 mph when it collided with him, MPD estimated.

The man reportedly suffered head and leg injuries and was transported to a trauma center.

The incident was at the curve of Hogenes Boulevard and Bowlin Road at Orchid Avenue.

 

 

During the service of a routine protection order on Nov. 26, Jason Simpson of West Avella Drive, was found to be in the possession of two potentially prohibited weapons, according to the Maricopa Police Department.

The two firearms, a New England shotgun and Remington shotgun, were found to be too short to own.

The New England had a 13.5-inch long barrel while state law dictates an 18-inch long barrel is mandatory. The Remington had a total length of just 24 inches with state law requiring a total length of 26 inches.

MPD charged Simpson for possession of the firearms.

 

 

 

A man reportedly tried to fight two people on Bedford Drive early Sunday morning and was arrested on suspicion of assault and domestic violence.

Maricopa Police arrested Mathew Zak after he allegedly pushed his ex-girlfriend and another man and tried to force his way into her house, according to the report.

Zak arrived at the house at around 1 a.m., began ringing the doorbell and “tried to gain access,” the allegations state. Another man answered the door and refused to let Zak inside. Zak then allegedly “continuously pushed” the man forcefully in his attempt to enter the house.

The ex-girlfriend came to the door during the scuffle. According to the MPD report, Zak grabbed her arms “and began to push his way into the residence.”

The other man then grabbed Zak and pulled him off the woman, at which point Zak began shoving him again, the report states. The man allegedly punched Zak in the face “in self-defense.” Police then arrived and placed Zak in custody. He was booked into the Pinal County jail on recommended charges of assault per domestic violence and assault.

Saturday Maricopa Police charged Pedro Zabala with two counts of criminal damage when he was having an overnight stay at a friend’s house.

According to police records, officers responded to an address on North Celis Street at 1 a.m. Saturday after the female resident came home and became engaged in an argument with Zabala.

Reports indicate he threw clothing items on the front patio and was then locked outside by the resident. She found her washer overloaded with clothing and bleach. She said the clothing was hers and was taken out of her closet.

 She told officers that about $3,000 of her clothes were ruined in the incident.

At 7:40 a.m. Saturday she heard banging on her front porch and contacted police.

 Zabala was located walking south of her home by a neighbor. Officers located him and also found the windshield of the woman’s car smashed in three places, the driver’s door mirror was broken off, air was let out of a tire, the rear window was smashed and there were five dents in the driver’s door.

 Zabala allegedly was carrying a yellow baseball bat when stopped by officers. Estimated damage to the vehicle is $2,000.

 

 

John D. Forker was charged by Maricopa Police Friday evening with criminal damage, domestic violence assault, endangerment and disorderly conduct after allegedly pushing and hitting his girlfriend’s son at a residence on West Walker Way.

According to police records, Forker is accused of pushing his girlfriend’s son into furniture and then repeatedly punching him in the face.

According to records, Forker is said to have pushed him while the man was holding a 1-year-old girl. A lamp was also broken in the altercation, according to police reports.

 Officers reportedly found the victim with injuries and scratches as well as “spitting blood.”

 

Tiffany Yenis (PCSO photo)

 

On Nov. 5, Maricopa Police responded to a disturbance on North Kari Lane after a man called to report his wife, Tiffany Yenis, “woke up this morning and began yelling and acting out of control.”

He told officers his wife wanted to gather her personal belongings and leave with their two children. A second reporting party told officers she was also outside screaming and banging on the front door of the residence.

A police probable cause statement alleged Yenis then took a small television set and slammed it into the driver’s side window and door of a parked van. She was also seen slamming the television into the hood of the vehicle, according to the report.

 Yenis allegedly told officers she did grab the television and threw it against her husband’s van. 

 Yenis was placed into custody and transported to the Pinal County Jail.

MPD Lt. Steven Judd talks about investigating domestic violence calls during a presentation Oct. 23 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Horton Drive. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopa Police Department offered tips for identifying potential domestic violence situations, shared resources to help victims and explained the difficult process of removing a victim from an abusive relationship. The special program was Tuesday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on DR Horton Drive.

MPD Community Programs Manager Mary Witkofski
MPD Victim Advocate Jim DeVenezia

A Maricopa woman was arrested on domestic violence charges Oct. 20 after two incidents involving her husband.

A Maricopa Police report shows Maria Weber was arrested on charges of assault and disorderly conduct for a Oct. 20 incident and criminal damage charges from one on Oct. 18.

According to police, on the evening of Oct. 18, Weber used a screwdriver to punch holes in the wall of the bedroom of her estranged husband at his residence on West Ramona Street. She is also said to have set a pillow on fire and dumped oil on a bed.

The second incident occurred on the evening of Oct. 20. Police said Maria Weber was involved in a “verbal argument” with her husband.

“She recklessly threw three baseball-sized rocks at [her husband],” a police report reads. “One of the rocks struck [him] in his left ankle.”

After this, she is said to have begun, “yelling and excessively using her vehicle horn, while in front of [her husband’s] residence.”

Maria Weber allegedly admitted to the crimes to police after her arrest. Her son is said to have provided witness statements against her as well.

Raymar Arthur, 31, believed to be the “Wiggin’ Out Bandit,” was taken into custody by the FBI without incident at his home in Maricopa. He is charged with 10 bank robberies and three attempted bank robberies, which occurred between March 27 and Oct. 4 this year.

Maricopa Police Department helped close down a street in Rancho El Dorado during the activity.

The nickname, “Wiggin’ Out Bandit,” came from the various wigs that were worn during the bank robberies. At least one bank was targeted twice. The robberies averaged about one a month until a spree in August hit Chandler, Mesa and Queen Creek.

During the robberies, the suspect verbally demanded money or presented tellers with a demand note, then fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was physically injured.

The FBI believes Arthur is responsible for the following robberies and/or attempted robberies:

March 27, at approximately 5:55 p.m., at the Chase Bank, 1021 N. Ellsworth Road in Mesa.

April 11, at approximately 4:14 p.m., at the Wells Fargo, 1951 W. Baseline Road in Mesa.

May 11, at approximately 6:53 p.m., at the MidFirst Bank, 4750 E. Chandler Blvd. in Phoenix.

June 1, at approximately 6:11 p.m., at the Wells Fargo, 1951 W. Baseline Road in Mesa.

June 25, at approximately 6:01 p.m., at the US Bank, 3185 W. Apache Trail in Apache Junction.

July 16, at approximately 5:51 p.m., at the Wells Fargo bank, 339 E. Brown Road in Mesa.

Aug. 1, at approximately 7:02 p.m., at the Wells Fargo bank, 4970 S. Alma School Road in Chandler.

Aug. 2, at approximately 7:02 p.m., at the US Bank, 1960 W. Main St. in Mesa.

Aug. 16, at approximately 2:46 p.m., at the Wells Fargo bank, 339 E. Brown Road in Mesa.

Aug. 22, at approximately 7:00 p.m., at the Wells Fargo, 1122 N. Higley Road in Mesa.

Aug. 23, at approximately 5:55 p.m., at the US Bank, 18495 E. Queen Creek Road in Queen Creek.

Aug. 23, at approximately 6:30 p.m., at the Wells Fargo bank, 155 W. Combs Road in Queen Creek.

Oct. 4, at approximately 6:54 p.m., at the US Bank located at 1960 West Main Street in Mesa.

Surveillance photos of “Wiggin’ Out Bandit”

An anonymous tip from the public ultimately led to the identification of the suspect.

The day of his arrest, Arthur had a disposition in Maricopa Municipal Court on two charges in a DUI drug case from April. One charge was dismissed while he pleaded guilty to the second with incarceration ordered along with fines of more than $1,500.

 

Brandon Osife (PCSO photo)

Bo Runge, a Shell station clerk, was at work on the night of Oct. 13 when a man attempted to rob him, he told police. He said the man had his hands in his pocket and was, “trying to act like he had a weapon.” When the suspect attempted to go behind the counter, Runge grabbed a baseball bat. The suspect then fled on foot without obtaining money or merchandise.

Runge said the man claimed to have robbed the store before, which is at 19680 N. John Wayne Parkway. Maricopa Police took a still picture from the store’s video footage, which they circulated throughout the department. Officers identified the suspect as Brandon Osife, who was convicted of robbing the same store in an incident that occurred last year on Oct. 23.

Osife was arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery a short distance from the store at 12:29 a.m. on Oct. 14. He is in Pinal County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

Adam C. Fox (PCSO photo)

 

Adam C. Fox was arrested by Maricopa Police Department on suspicion of assault and criminal damage on the evening of Oct. 9 at 7:24 p.m. Both offenses are said to have occurred on Oct. 8 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The report alleges Fox became upset during a verbal argument with a woman and grabbed her by the throat.

“Adam then intentionally impeded the normal breathing of [the woman] by applying pressure to Jessica’s throat for approximately three to four seconds,” the report says. “[The woman] managed to free herself however Adam managed to grab her again.”

The reported victim said she didn’t feel safe leaving the residence on West Dutchman Drive until after Fox left the next day.

Rickey Alderidge (PCSO photo)

 

A Maricopa woman was loading groceries into her SUV in the parking lot of the Walmart Supercenter, 41650 W Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy Oct. 9 evening when a man approached her, demanding the keys to her vehicle before pulling a knife.

Her Jeep Cherokee Sport was already running with the keys in the ignition. When the man seemed to realize this, he “shoved [her] away from the vehicle and got into the driver’s seat,” according to a police report. She sustained lacerations and bruising on her legs, arms, hands and face.

The man reversed out of the parking spot, striking the woman’s grocery cart, which became lodged under the vehicle. Despite this, he successfully fled the scene.

The woman’s purse and cellphone were in the vehicle when it was stolen. Police were able to track the phone, locating the vehicle on North Canton Way north of State Route 84 in Stanfield. Rickey L. Alderidge was found in the vehicle and was placed under arrest at 11:22 p.m.

The victim was brought to the scene and identified Alderidge as the man who pulled the knife earlier. A knife matching the description given by the victim was found on him.

Once at the Maricopa Police Station, Alderidge said he was recently released from a prison in Texas and was homeless. When told he had been identified by the victim, he requested a lawyer and no further questions were asked by police. Alderidge faces charges of aggravated assault, armed robbery, theft of means of transportation and criminal damage.

He is in Pinal County jail on a $25,000 bond.

Chris Sarappo's family was the victim of a hoax "swatting" incident that brought police to his door. Photo by Jeff Kronenfeld

 

When 17-year-old Nina Sarappo, a National Honors Society member and intern at Maricopa City Hall, answered the door of her Homestead residence Friday morning, she had no idea why a group of police officers were there, one with a plastic shield and one a beanbag shotgun.

The Sarappos had become the latest victims of “swatting,” a term for the crime of making false or hoax reports to bring about large police responses. This term was popularized in online gaming communities, but has become a national problem. Ricardo Alvarado, public affairs specialist for the Maricopa Police Department, said the last time something like this happened in the city was roughly two years ago.

“That individual, if I remember correctly, he was playing an online video game,” Alvarado said.

The incident on Friday occurred after Sonya Bilevins, a DHL Express delivery driver, dropped off a package of contact lenses for Nina. A confirmation of delivery was sent by the company to her old phone number. A reply from that number sent at around 10:45 a.m. read, “Send Help, He’s got a gun, the backdoor code is [REDACTED.]”

Bilevins — who was initially unsure what to do after receiving the message — contacted the police. Officer Adam Webber and Officer Andrew Leach were dispatched at around 11:15 a.m. to perform a welfare check. They contacted Bilevins by phone and called in more officers to assist with clearing the residence, which was completed by around 11:46 a.m.

Also home besides Nina was her 12-year-old brother Christopher. Both children were on their fall breaks. Chris Sarappo, the children’s father, is a personal trainer for Copper Sky Recreation Center, where he was working during the incident. He rushed home as soon as he checked his messages.

“My kids were scared when it first happened,” Chris Sarappo said. Despite this, the two cooperated while police determined what had happened.

Police pinged the old phone number, determining it was located near a school in Tucson and was registered to a female Tucson resident identified only as Michelle in the police report.

The Maricopa Police reached out to Officer Marcos Ramirez, the school resource officer for the Tucson school. Ramirez called back around 1:03 p.m. and confirmed the phone belonged to Michelle’s son, who was a student at the school in Tucson. The student admitted to receiving the messages from DHL regarding the delivery. He said he ignored the messages but showed them to his friends, according to the police report.

Chris Sarappo wants the guilty party punished and to let his neighbors know it was a false alarm and that their family is safe and not in any trouble.

“I just want them to get to the bottom of it and to clear our name, because I work for the city,” Sarappo said. “I’ve done everything from working with kids in Tiny Tots to Challenger League with handicapped kids. I coached high school baseball and with the middle school when we won a championship. I have a lot to do with this community.”

Alvarado stressed the police response was calm and methodical. Body camera footage from one of the officers present confirmed that police knocked on the door at a reasonable level and proceeded with caution. They escorted Nina away from the house while attempting to confirm elements of the report. They did the same for Christopher Sarappo, the son.

“Slow is fast in our business,” Alvarado said. “We are still working with agencies in Pima County to gather more information on this if it reaches the level – which we’re pretty confident it may – to file charges when it comes to this type of incident.”

Maricopa is hardly alone in facing this problem. A number of celebrities have had their homes swatted in recent year, including Tom Cruise, Ashton Kutcher and Justin Bieber, just to name a few.

New Jersey State Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty was swatted after proposing an anti-swatting bill in that states. Massachusetts’s fifth Congressional District Rep. Katherine Clark introduced the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act of 2015, before being swatted herself the next year. Despite this, she proposed the Online Safety Modernization Act of 2017, which covered a range of, “cybercrimes against individuals,” but it appears to have stalled in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations since being referred there on July 14, 2017.

Nationally, swatting has led to deaths when things go wrong. One recent example saw a feud between online gamers spill into real life. A 25-year-old California resident made a hoax 911-call which resulted in the death of a 28-year-old Kansas resident.

Alvarado did offer some advice for Maricopa residents if they are ever victims of such crimes.

“If we arrive on your doorstep and we talk to you, we’re not there because we want to be,” Alvarado said. “Bear with us and we’ll work through it.  We try to be as professional, as courteous and as informative as we can to help calm fears.”

He had a very different message for any would be pranksters.

“For anybody that’s considering doing this, just be aware that when we locate you, you will face felony charges,” Alvarado said.

A Maricopa mother was arrested Sept. 27 on suspicion of intoxicated driving after a collision on Smith-Enke Road. Her son was reportedly in the vehicle at the time.

Jennifer Hardy-Alarcon is accused of four counts of driving under the influence and failure to control a vehicle.

According the Maricopa Police Report, a Ford sedan driven by Hardy-Alarcon ran into the rear bumper of a Honda SUV stopped at a red light at Province Way. The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m.

Responding officers described Hardy-Alarcon as displaying “obvious signs of extreme intoxication” while failing a sobriety test. Breath samples reportedly registered at 0.223 and 0.236. She was arrested but released to a responsible party.

MPD is recommending two charges of aggravated DUI as well as extreme DUI, DUI to the slightest degree and failure to control a vehicle to avoid a collision. Her vehicle was towed to impound.

A Maricopa Police Officer found a driver and his passenger asleep in a car while stopped at a stop light.

The incident occurred Sept. 27 at 2:13 a.m. on State Route 347 at the Smith-Enke Road intersection.

According the report, the officer saw a Chevy Impala stopped at the light facing north in the southbound lanes. The officer parked the police vehicle in front of the Chevy to prevent the driver from moving forward.

Approaching the vehicle, the officer observed the driver and the passenger sleeping. The driver awoke and identified himself as Joseph Narcia. He reportedly told the officer he’d had a few drinks.

Narcia allegedly failed sobriety tests and was arrested and transported to MPD. According to the report, an Intoxilizer test showed blood-alcohol content of 0.135 and 0.130.

Narcia faces charges of aggravated DUI, DUA with BAC .08 or more and DUI in the slightest degree.

A vague threat posted anonymously Monday night, apparently on Facebook, caused a larger police presence on the Maricopa High School campus this morning.

Maricopa Police Department cleared the campus overnight after parents used the department’s mobile app to alert them to the post.

MHS Principal Brian Winter sent a message to parents at 5:30 a.m. notifying them of the situation and noting that school would remain open.

“Although we are unable to determine the credibility of the threat, keeping you informed is our priority,” he stated.

The post used a 2012 evidence photo from the Trayvon Martin murder case in Florida, showing a hand holding a gun, an image from Martin’s cell phone. The superimposed phrase “MHS kids better not —- with me tomorrow” was followed by a smiley face emoji.

Winter asked students to leave their backpacks at home today. “Bags and large purses brought to school will be checked and stored with administration.” Students who stayed home were not penalized for the absence.

“We are still investigating this matter,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said. “We have reached out to FBI, the Mesa Fusion center and other intelligence-gathering agencies.”

Randy Attson (PCSO photo)

 

A welfare check on a parked and running car in the early-morning hours led to a drug arrest Wednesday.

According to Maricopa Police Department records, a white car was parked on the dirt shoulder of Smith-Enke Road east of DR Horton Drive just before 4 a.m. The vehicle was running with its headlights on.

The man in the driver’s seat identified himself as Randy Attson, 41. The officer reported seeing a pint glass in the car’s cup holder containing liquid that looked like beer. Attson allegedly admitted the pint glass was from a bar he visited earlier.

The officer also observed a blow torch at Attson’s feet, indicating the implement is sometimes associated with illegal drug use. When the officer asked if there was a methamphetamine pipe in the car, Attson allegedly said it was between the driver’s seat and the center console.

A search reportedly turned up three glass pipes and about 2.5 grams of meth. A warrant check also revealed Attson’s driving privilege was suspended and he had an extraditable warrant out of West Mesa Justice Court for a traffic offense with a $1,300 bond.

Attson was booked at Pinal County jail, where he remains in custody. Recommended charges are possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license.

Timothy Campbell. PCSO photo

Maricopa Police arrested a man suspected of driving under the influence while transporting precious cargo last week.

Timothy Campbell, 38, is accused of carrying with him four children during a traffic stop Aug. 26 when he was tagged with seven varying counts of aggravated DUI and endangerment.

MPD arrested Campbell at approximately 3:55 p.m. at the Good 2 Go gas station at  John Wayne Parkway and Honeycutt Road.

A police report alleges prior to the arrest, one of the young passengers sparked the interest of an officer operating a patrol vehicle southbound on John Wayne Parkway.

“I observed a small juvenile female sitting on top of a person’s lap in the front passenger seat, (the child) then attempted to duck their head in a red Ford F-150 (truck),” according to the report.

The officer activated his emergency lights and pulled the vehicle over at the gas station. The ages of the four children observed inside the truck were withheld in the report, but all were reportedly under 15 years old.

Campbell allegedly told the officer he was driving on a suspended license and reportedly admitted to consuming intoxicating beverages.

Police dispatch informed the officer Campbell is also required to drive with an ignition interlock device, but there was no device in the vehicle, according to the report.

Campbell completed a standard field sobriety test with “poor results.”

MPD transported the DUI suspect to its headquarters where Campbell completed a second breathalyzer test with results showing a blood alcohol content of .162, more than twice the legal limit.

Officers forwarded seven counts against Campbell to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office: Aggravated DUI: Driving with a suspended driver license (class 4 felony); Aggravated DUI: Driving without an ignition interlock device (class 4 felony); DUI with four children inside the vehicle under the age of 15 (class 6 felonies); Aggravated DUI impaired to the slightest degree (class 1 misdemeanor); Aggravated DUI .08 BAC or above (class 1 misdemeanor); Aggravated DUI: .15 BAC or above (class 1 misdemeanor); Endangerment (class 1 misdemeanor).

 

A person has died after being tased in a confrontation with Maricopa Police officers early Saturday morning in the backyard of an Acacia Crossing home.

According to MPD, a possible burglary was reported around 3:45 a.m. Officers responded to the 45000 block of Paitilla Lane. A caller reported the breaking of the glass door and told police someone had entered the house. She was told to stay on the phone and confine herself to a restroom for protection.

Officers arrived to hear the suspect in the backyard yelling.

“Officers entered the backyard and gave commands to the subject to get on the ground,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado reported. “During the arrest commands the subjected charged the officers and began to fight. Due to the subject’s acts of aggression toward he officers, he was tased.”

Police cuffed him and put on leg restraints. Maricopa Fire/Medical Department responded and checked the suspect. According to MPD, the man stopped breathing while MFMD was on scene. He was transported to Chandler Regional Medical Center.

He was later pronounced dead by the hospital staff.

The individual is described only as a 36-year-old male while the in-custody death is investigated by the Department of Public Safety.

Fabian Andrade (left) and Jacob Sanchez. PCSO photos

An alleged attempt to sell marijuana ended in the arrest of two suspected drug dealers Monday night, according to the Maricopa Police Department.

Jacob Sanchez, 21, and Fabian Andrade, 19, are accused of a host of charges including weapons misconduct, selling marijuana, possessing drug paraphernalia, criminal damage and disorderly conduct.

Police were alerted to the alleged incident by a phone call at approximately 11:51 p.m. on Aug. 27.

The caller told emergency dispatchers that people inside a dark grey Nissan Infiniti passenger vehicle pointed a handgun at his or her residence near Jeremy and Wilson Streets in the Senita subdivision.

Officers identified the vehicle in the same location six minutes later and conducted a “high risk” stop, according to an MPD report.

After being safely detained, Sanchez and Andrade allegedly told officers they attempted to sell marijuana to the person who phoned police earlier that night at a different location.

The report accuses Sanchez of admitting to possessing the marijuana that was for sale. Sanchez also allegedly told police he handed the drug to Andrade, who then allegedly handed it to the customer.

The recipient of the transaction left without paying for the marijuana, the pair told police.

Sanchez and Andrade told officers they drove to the customer’s residence “at which time (Sanchez) had taken (Andrade)’s gun and placed it in his lap and then had it showing outside of the window as they were in front of (the) home.”

Both suspects allegedly said they went to the residence to seek payment.

The report alleges the men told police they exited the vehicle and approached the home. Sanchez reportedly admitted to ringing the doorbell and puncturing the tire of the customer’s vehicle with a knife.

Officers searching the vehicle used by Sanchez and Andrade reportedly discovered a handgun and scales with “green, leafy residue” located in the rear passenger compartment near where Sanchez was sitting.

Andrade reportedly told police he owned the handgun for protection while conducting drug sales, according to the report.

Police forwarded identical charges against the pair.

Sanchez and Andrade could face charges of misconduct involving weapons (class 4 felony), possession of marijuana for sale (class 2-5 felony), possession of drug paraphernalia (class 6 felony), criminal damage (class 1-2 misdemeanor) and disorderly conduct (class 1 misdemeanor).

MPD transported the suspects to Pinal County Jail, where they remain in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.

Sgt. Hal Koozer models uniform for MPD's new Community Response Team. Photo by Michelle Chance

 

A discussion that began earlier this year, after a shooter entered the halls of a Florida school and killed 17 students and staff members, evolved into possible action Wednesday night.

The Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board and the Maricopa Police Department discussed installing video cameras on school campuses.

Those cameras would stream live feeds 24/7 directly to MPD’s dispatch center.

The proposal is contingent on a $300,000 Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant applied for in July by the police department.

Sequoia Pathway Academy is also reportedly partnering with MPD and MUSD in the quest for that money from the Department of Justice.

“Everything on that video feed is evidence – it belongs to the police department and is stored with MPD once it becomes an investigation,” Stahl said.

Fearing a “police-state” operation inside schools, MUSD board members expressed some hesitancy on the camera topic.

Stahl explained MPD does not have the resources to monitor the feeds. Live recordings would only be accessed when the dispatch center was alerted to an emergency.

Recordings would be stored in the cloud and deleted after 48 hours.

Local schools would not be alone in turning to surveillance video for safety solutions, Stahl said.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida installed additional security cameras on campus after the mass shooting.

In March, MPD and local schools hosted a school-safety forum to answer community questions. Beefing up campus safety has been discussed in meetings that have dotted the agendas of Stahl and MUSD Superintendent Tracey Lopeman throughout the summer.

Those brainstorm sessions produced other ideas on how to spend the grant money in addition to the cameras.

The development of a cell phone app would give students the option of anonymously texting the police department in the case of suspicious activity.

Grant money would also likely fund the installation of classroom door locks, according to Lopeman and Stahl. But digital and mechanical measures weren’t the only solutions discussed.

School and police leaders will add manpower to school safety measures. Law enforcement muscle is commonly sought by districts through Student Resource Officers who provide education and protection on campus.

With city and school funding tight, there is only one SRO at MUSD – and the COPS grant does not support staffing.

“We started brainstorming a new program,” Stahl said. “It’s called the Community Response Team.”

Five officers, led by MPD Sgt. Hal Koozer, will soon cycle through neighborhoods that house schools nearby.

Stahl said the team will provide a quick response to campus emergencies. The team will also visit children at bus stops and make surprise appearances at lunchtime to encourage trust between students and officers.

Their presence around town will increase once Maricopa feels relief from summer temperatures, Stahl said.

The schools should learn whether their effort to receive grant money was successful sometime in October, Stahl said.

If MUSD is awarded the money, Lopeman said students, parents and staff will have a say within the Safety Committee, which is planned to convene in the next 90 days.

 

Diana Edwards. PCSO photo

A man called law enforcement last week after his wife discovered a woman attempting to break into their home.

Diana Edwards, 32, is suspected of aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, possession of dangerous drugs and paraphernalia and second-degree burglary. The woman was also wanted on two felony warrants at the time of her arrest.

The incident allegedly occurred Aug. 12 at approximately 11:11 a.m. at a residence on Cielo Lane in Maricopa, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

Edwards is reportedly the ex-girlfriend of the man living in the home.

According to the report, the man’s wife observed an unknown woman banging on the front door of the residence and attempting to gain access inside. The wife alerted her husband to the situation, and he “ran upstairs and retrieved a pistol in order to defend his wife and himself,” the man reportedly told MPD.

By the time the husband returned to the front door, the police report alleges Edwards had ran to the back of the residence and entered the home through an unlocked patio door.

After a verbal confrontation between the man and Edwards, she reportedly exited the home and jumped into the yard next door.

Upon police arrival, Edwards allegedly began resisting arrest by attempting to pull away from officers, according to the report.

Edwards is also accused in the report of kicking officers and attempting to bite a lieutenant three times while being secured in the back seat of a patrol vehicle.

MPD reportedly discovered a syringe of clear liquid that was later identified as amphetamine.

Edwards was transported to the hospital for having difficulty breathing “and it was discovered she had taken close to 100 various types of benzodiazepine pills,” the report alleges. The suspect was transported to the Pinal County Jail after being medically cleared.

Edwards was reportedly wanted on two felony warrants before her arrest Aug. 12, according to court documents.

The first, from an incident in October 2016, was four counts relating to forgery.

The second warrant included charges of unlawful flight from pursuing a police officer and drug possession/use from January 2018. A $5,000 bond is assigned to each of those warrants.

Edwards is also being held on an additional $10,000 bond for the aggravated assault on the peace officer charge.

Edwards is facing multiple felony charges including, burglary in the second degree (Class 3 felony); possession of drug paraphernalia (Class 6 felony); Resisting arrest (Class 6 felony); and aggravated assault against a peace officer (Class 6 felony).

A class 1 misdemeanor was included in Edwards’ host of charges for allegedly driving on a suspended license in 2012, according to court documents.

Jalen Lee (PCSO photo)

Detectives investigating an assault on a minor at Copper Sky nabbed the accused offender with a long rap sheet last week.

Maricopa Police arrested 21-year-old Jalen Lee Aug. 2 on suspicion of aggravated assault against a minor under 15 years of age. He’s also suspected of armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and other charges in 2016.

Lee’s most recent arrest came nearly one month after the alleged assault took place at Copper Sky Park July 5.

At that time, officers responded to reports of a fight at Copper Sky where a minor told them he was approached by two men he didn’t know, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

One man reportedly asked the victim how old he was. When the minor told him, the other male, later identified as Lee, allegedly said, “I don’t give a f—” and struck the victim in the face.

“(The victim) stated he fell to the ground and was hit by the same unknown person multiple times,” the report alleges.

The two men then fled the scene, but not before several people witnessed the altercation, according to the report.

An older friend who was with the victim at the time of the alleged assault but had run away at the sight of the two men approaching spoke with MPD later that night. The friend told police he has a “beef” with Lee and identified Lee as the person who hit the victim, according to the report.

Detectives identified Lee as their primary suspect and generated a photo lineup using Lee’s Arizona driver’s license.

At the victim’s residence on Aug. 1, his mother told detectives she had learned new information in the weeks that had passed since the assault that would help in identifying the suspect. She said her son’s friend, who spoke with police in July, sent her a picture of Lee from Snapchat and identified him as the person who hit the victim, the report stated.

“(The victim’s friend) confessed to (the mother) that he had a ‘beef’ with (Lee), not (the victim),” according to the report.

The mother posted the Snapchat photo reportedly of Lee to Facebook and asked the public’s assistance in identifying him.

The report alleges several people came forward with Lee’s name, identifying him as the man in the photo.

The victim also identified the man in the photo as the person who assaulted him. Police said Lee’s driver’s license photo matched the man in the Snapchat image.

Police arrested and interviewed Lee the following day. Lee reportedly denied involvement in the assault and “claims officers have the wrong person,” according to the report. Lee is being held in the Pinal County Jail on a $50,000 bond on a slew of charges, most of them unrelated to the Copper Sky assault.

Lee is suspected of aggravated robbery (class 3 felony); armed robbery (class 2 felony); aggravated assault against a minor under 15 years of age (class 2 felony); aggravated assault using a deadly weapon or instrument (class 3 felony); and DUI.

Leslee Martin (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa woman is accused of stabbing her husband with a kitchen knife in front of their two children in the Meadows last weekend.

The Maricopa Police Department arrested Leslee Martin, 40, at a residence on Belle Avenue July 28. She faces charges of aggravated assault, two counts of endangerment and two counts of disorderly conduct.

The incident reportedly began as a verbal argument between Martin and her husband at approximately 8:26 p.m.

“(The husband) was talking to a subject through text messages who his wife was planning on moving in with,” an MPD report alleged.

The subject later blocked Martin’s cell phone contact. The report alleges Martin became angry and began yelling at her husband. Martin’s husband then attempted to leave the home with the children.

As he exited the front door, the report states Martin’s husband set the children down next to him.

“(Martin) came running at (the victim) with a kitchen knife in her right hand and stabbed (the victim) in the left shoulder while slamming the door shut,” according to the report.

Martin’s husband was left with a three-quarters of an inch-wide stab wound to his shoulder. The report states he and the children then ran across the street.

Martin was arrested and transported to the Pinal County Jail, where she remains on a $10,000 secured bond. She’ll be in court Aug. 7 for a bond hearing.

In 2011, Martin pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Japhia Richards (PCSO photo)

A Maricopa man’s probation officer turned him in for allegedly possessing a myriad of illegal drugs in his bedroom.

Japhia Richards, 33, was arrested July 21 from a home in Senita after officers reportedly found drug paraphernalia, heroin, marijuana, cocaine and prescription pills in his room, according to a Maricopa Police Department report.

The incident began when Richards allegedly admitted to his probation officer that he was in possession of syringes, spoons, cigarette wrappers and pipes that he said he used to smoke heroin.

Richards reportedly consented to a room search where the officer found the drugs, including five prescription pill bottles “with the names to the prescription ripped off.”

The police report stated Richards was unable to provide proof of being prescribed those pills.

MPD arrived to assist the probation officer who had detained Richards after the search.

A warrants check found Richards had a felony warrant out of Gilbert’s Highland Justice Court for two counts of aggravated DUI.

Richards was arrested on the felony warrant, two counts of possession of narcotic drugs (class 4 felonies), possession of dangerous drugs (class 4 felony), four counts of possession of prescription only drugs (class 1 misdemeanors), possession of marijuana (class 6 felony), and seven counts of possession of drug paraphernalia (class 6 felonies).

He’s being held in the Pinal County Jail on a $2,700 secured bond.

Photo courtesy MPD

A baby desert cottontail rabbit found refuge from the heat in the arms of a Maricopa Police Department veteran Tuesday afternoon.

Officer Irene McCorry has worked for MPD for 11 years and responds to multiple animal calls every week on her dayside shift training other officers. July 24, she responded to a woman who was pulled over on the side of Alan Stephens Parkway in Glennwilde.

“She was holding something really tiny in her hands, and we stopped because she looked like she needed help,” McCorry said.

In the woman’s clutch was the baby cottontail that had been found alone in a puddle on the side of the scalding road.

“She’s like, ‘Please take him,’” McCorry said the woman told her.

McCorry, who previously adopted two rescue dogs in Maricopa, took the bunny home, gave it food and water, and let is bask in the comforts of air conditioning.

She plans on releasing the rabbit back into the wild after it regains its strength.

“My backyard has grass and there’s a couple of bunnies that will chomp on the green grass, so I figured maybe they’d take him in,” she said.

Photo by Michelle Chance

Emergency crews transported one occupant with non-life-threatening injuries to the hospital Tuesday after a two-vehicle accident on John Wayne Parkway near The Shops at Maricopa Fiesta.

Maricopa Police Department Spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said a southbound vehicle failed to stop at a red light and struck a sedan attempting to turn south on JWP from Fry’s Marketplace at approximately 2:57 p.m.

The driver of the other vehicle was reportedly uninjured. Two other occupants inside the sedan that was hit did not require transport to the hospital, Alvarado said.

The collision delayed southbound traffic until MPD cleared the scene around an hour later.