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CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) — A police officer was fatally injured Friday when he was hit by a suspected drunken driver, becoming the second officer from the Chandler Police Department to be killed in motorcycle crashes this week.
Officer David Payne, 37, was stopped at a red light about 1 a.m. when a vehicle struck his motorcycle from behind, police said. The impact threw Payne's motorcycle through the intersection.
The other driver drove away, but officers stopped him a short time later and took him into custody, police said. The driver had an 11-month-old baby with him, police said.
Payne's death followed the death of another Chandler officer Tuesday. Officer Bryant Holmes, 34, was riding his motorcycle to work when he was struck by an SUV that ran a red light, authorities said. The 20-year-old driver stopped.
"It's been a very difficult week for the department," Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan said. "We have lost two exceptional and talented officers in a matter of three days."
Police said the suspect in Friday's crash that killed Payne was believed to be impaired by alcohol and driving on a suspended license.
"This is not an accident," said Sgt. Joe Favazzo, a police spokesman. "This is a crash ... It was 100 percent avoidable."
Brian Yazzie, 31, of Tempe, was arrested and jailed on suspicion of manslaughter, endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said.
A Chandler police spokesman, Detective Seth Tyler, said he didn't know whether Yazzie has an attorney yet.
Payne was a seven-year veteran of the Chandler department and a member of its drunken-driving enforcement unit. "His passion was to remove impaired drivers from the roadways," Duggan said.
Payne was also a member of the Arizona Army National Guard, and he served in Iraq in 2007-2008.
PHOENIX (AP) — A 68-year-old hiker missing since Monday has been found dead in the White Tank Mountains, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office announced late Thursday.
The body of Cheryl Case was located Thursday, and foul play is not suspected, an MCSO spokesman said.
Detectives believe she got off the trail at some point and ended up on the west side of the mountain, where she succumbed to the elements in the desert mountain park.
A friend reported Case missing when she failed to return late Monday from a hike in the park.
Case had been visiting the Phoenix area from California. Her hometown was not immediately known.
Her car was found at a trailhead, and searchers used horses, tracking dogs, aircraft and all-terrain vehicles in their effort to locate her.
The U.S. Justice Department wants a racial profiling ruling against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office to stand as the judgment on some of the federal government's allegations in a broader civil rights case against the sheriff's office.
PHOENIX (AP) — A sheriff's detention officer shot and killed a jail inmate in Phoenix who slipped out of his restraints, ran away and struggled with another officer over a gun Tuesday, authorities said.
Angel Frescas, 22, died hours after being shot in the head by another detention officer who responded to the scene.
Frescas took off running after being taken to a hospital, Maricopa County Sheriff's officials said. A detention officer caught up with him, and they struggled over the officer's gun.
Another detention officer at the hospital responded to a call for help and fired several shots at Frescas, hitting him twice, said Deputy Joaquin Enriquez, a sheriff's spokesman.
Frescas had been arrested Oct. 14 on suspicion of aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest in a Sept. 18 case, authorities said.
The shooting occurred on a street near the county hospital in central Phoenix, and news video showed a parked black van with bullet holes in its windshield. Residents said they heard several gunshots.
The inmate fled after somehow unfastening handcuffs and leg restraints while he and two other prisoners were unloaded from the van at the hospital, Enriquez said.
While one officer gave chase, a second detention officer helping transport the prisoners took the other two into the hospital and placed them in a holding cell.
Investigators believe Frescas had planned the escape in advance, Enriquez said.
A sheriff's inmate escaped from the same hospital earlier this month as he was taken in for a medical appointment. That inmate ditched his crutches and drove off in a vehicle that a deliveryman had left running. The inmate and stolen car were found elsewhere in Phoenix later that day.
PHOENIX (AP) — A judge presiding over a racial profiling case against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office leveled harsh criticism against the agency Tuesday for not thoroughly investigating allegations that some sheriff's deputies were involved in thefts.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow also singled out Arpaio for publicly saying he had no regrets about launching the type of immigration patrols that the judge found to have been unconstitutional as part of the profiling case. The judge is concerned Arpaio's comments are weakening efforts to correct constitutional flaws in the agency's approach to traffic stops.
"I think he is completely undoing what the MCSO (Arpaio's office) is spending a great deal of time building," said Snow, who showed visible frustration with the agency at several points in a court hearing Tuesday. He ordered the sheriff himself to attend the training that his officers must complete as part of the profiling case.
The hearing was called to discuss the agency's investigations of a former officer suspected of shaking down immigrants and to address Arpaio's recent unapologetic comments about a 2008 immigration patrol.
Arpaio, who was in Idaho on Tuesday, didn't attend the hearing. His lawyers and one of Arpaio's top managers faced sharp questioning from the judge, particularly over the investigation into former Deputy Ramon Charley Armendariz.
Armendariz was arrested in May after investigators found items belonging to others and bags of evidence at his home. Armendariz implicated former colleagues on Arpaio's immigrant smuggling squad, quit his job and later committed suicide. Armendariz is relevant to the profiling case because he was a witness at the case's 2012 trial and videos of his traffic stops were discovered after his arrest.
The judge said he had concerns that the only criminal investigation by the sheriff's office of Armendariz has been closed.
"I think you need to continue to investigate where those items came from," Snow said.
Robert Warshaw, a court-appointed official who is monitoring the sheriff's office on behalf of the judge, said another former member of Arpaio's smuggling squad has alleged that squad members had pocketed items from raids at safe houses.
Warshaw, a former police chief, said his team of police professionals has never seen more unprofessional interviews than those conducted by Arpaio's employees who are conducting the investigation. Warshaw said the interviews were replete with apologetic treatment of those being interviewed.
More than a year ago, Snow ruled Arpaio's office had systematically racially profiled Latinos in its regular traffic and immigration patrols. Arpaio denies that his officers have racially profiled people and has appealed the decision. The judge is requiring Arpaio's office to video-record traffic stops, collect data on traffic stops and conduct additional training to ensure officers aren't making unconstitutional traffic stops.
Tuesday's hearing also centered on Arpaio's recent comments about a 2008 immigration patrol in the town of Guadalupe that were a significant piece of the profiling case.
Asked to comment about an upcoming community meeting in Guadalupe, Arpaio told The Associated Press he had no regrets about the patrol. "With the same circumstances, I'd do it all over again," Arpaio said.
Snow said the sheriff, as an elected official, is free to make whatever public statements he wishes, but added that Arpaio sets the overall tone for his agency — and questioned whether the sheriff's comments are undermining efforts to train his deputies.
Tim Casey, an attorney representing Arpaio, said the sheriff's office is making significant changes ordered by the judge and that the agency was acting in good faith. "Good faith exists in the deed, not the spoken word," Casey said, arguing there was no cause and effect as a result of Arpaio's comments.
Cecillia Wang, a lawyer who pressed the profiling case against the sheriff's office, said the sheriff wasn't merely expressing disagreement with the judge — he was saying he would do his immigration patrols all over again.
Snow said he was willing to take such comments by Arpaio into account when deciding whether the sheriff's office has complied with the judge's efforts to fix the constitutional problems.
ANTHEM, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say three Anthem high school students are in custody after an altercation with a campus police officer.
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Christopher Hegstrom says a school resource officer at Boulder Creek High School attempted to take a juvenile into custody when two other youths became involved.
Hegstrom says the officer, an off-duty Sheriff's Sergeant, shocked one of the teens with a Taser.
He says two minors were detained at the school while a third was arrested on a street nearby.
Hegstrom says a security guard and one juvenile were injured in the incident.
Two juveniles have been charged with one count each of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct.
The third faces two counts of disorderly conduct.
Hegstrom did not say what motivated the initial detainment.
PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office says a court-appointed official's critique of the agency's investigation into alleged wrongdoing by some of its officers contains mischaracterizations.
Arpaio's lawyers say in court papers Tuesday that the report alleges investigators failed to act on information provided to them while they examined shakedown allegations against a former deputy. It also says supervisors of the deputy, whose arrest led to the investigations, didn't take appropriate action against him.
The report has not been released to the public.
The lawyers say the document unfairly suggested the sheriff's department wasn't investigating allegations in good faith, and that the criticism centers on the fact that no criminal charges have been filed against officers.
"Such a conclusion, especially given the genesis of this particular investigation, presumes the guilt of MCSO deputies," the attorneys wrote.
The critique was made by Robert Warshaw, who was appointed to monitor the agency by a judge who ruled Arpaio's officers have racially profiled Latinos in its patrols.
The judge asked Warshaw to investigate allegations against a witness in the profiling case, now-deceased deputy Ramon Charley Armendariz. Eighteen months after the profiling trial, Armendariz was accused of shaking down immigrants who are in the country illegally.
Armendariz was arrested five months ago after investigators found driver's licenses, wallets belonging to other people, bags of evidence and more than 100 license plates at his Phoenix home.
Another discovery at Armendariz's home involved an estimated 900 hours of videos taken from cameras mounted on his eyeglasses and dashboard that were supposed to be turned over in the profiling case.
Armendariz told investigators he was innocent, and he implicated former colleagues on Arpaio's immigrant smuggling squad. After his arrest, Armendariz resigned and was later found dead in his home in a suicide by hanging, officials say.
Warshaw's report on the investigation into Armendariz's allegations hasn't been publicly released.
The sheriff's office has repeatedly denied requests by The Associated Press for updates on the investigations, and investigative reports and related documents sought through public records requests haven't been released.
The attorneys who pressed the racial profiling case against Arpaio's office filed a response to Warshaw's report, but that filing is under a court seal. The American Civil Liberties Union, the driving force behind the profiling case, declined to comment on the filing by Arpaio's lawyers.
The sheriff's office says in its latest filing that nearly 9,000 videos taken by officers during the course of their work have been collected in the investigation. It says the videos have generated 39 internal investigations.
Arpaio's lawyers said Warshaw's criticism underscores the monitor's misunderstanding about the distinction between investigations that examine criminal allegations and those that focus on policy violations.
The sheriff's office also said the monitor alleged that Armendariz's supervisors failed to take administrative action against him. Arpaio's lawyers said it already has an administrative investigation into the matter.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow ordered that a copy of Warshaw's report be sent to county and federal prosecutors. He set a Tuesday hearing to discuss the critique.
Arpaio's attorneys have asked the judge to close discussions of the Armendariz investigations, while opposing lawyers said they should be open to the public.
Lawyers for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office say a court-appointed official's critique of the agency's investigation into alleged wrongdoing by some of its officers contains mischaracterizations.
PHOENIX (AP) — A court has set a Dec. 3 hearing to hear arguments in Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's appeal of a ruling that concluded his officers have systematically racially profiled Latinos in its vehicle patrols.
Attorneys on both sides of the case will make their arguments before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow ruled in May 2013 that Arpaio's office has singled out Latinos in its regular traffic and immigration patrols.
The sheriff vigorously denies that his officers have racially profiled people.
Arpaio isn't appealing the ruling on the immigration patrols and instead is challenging the judge's conclusions on regular traffic patrols.
In a training session a year ago, Arpaio's top aide predicted the appeals court would uphold Snow's ruling.
A court has set a Dec. 3 hearing to hear arguments in Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's appeal of a ruling that concluded his officers have systematically racially profiled Latinos in its vehicle patrols.
Phoenix (AP) • A court has set a Dec. 3 hearing for arguments in Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s appeal of a ruling that concluded his officers have systematically racially profiled Latinos in its vehicle patrols.
Attorneys on both sides of the case will make their arguments before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow ruled in May 2013 that Arpaio’s office has singled out Latinos in its regular traffic and immigration patrols.
The sheriff vigorously denies that his officers have racially profiled people.
Arpaio isn’t appealing the ruling on the immigration patrols and instead is challenging the judge’s conclusions on regular traffic patrols.
A Maricopa County grand jury decided to indict four people in the deaths of more than 20 dogs at a boarding facility in Gilbert in one of the largest animal cruelty cases the county has seen.
Four people, including a son of U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, have been indicted on cruelty to animal charges after 21 dogs died at a Gilbert kennel in June, prosecutors said Wednesday.
PHOENIX (AP) — Four people — including a son of U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake — have been indicted on cruelty to animal charges after 21 dogs died at a Gilbert kennel in June, prosecutors said Wednesday.
A grand jury indicted Green Acre Dog Boarding owners Jesse Todd and Malesia Maurine Hughes along with the couple's daughter Logan Flake and son-in-law Austin Flake, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said.
The Hugheses said the animals died of heat exhaustion on June 20 in an 8- by 12-foot room when one dog chewed through the air conditioner's power cord after the caretakers left the facility for the night.
The couple was vacationing in Florida at the time and said their daughter and son-in-law were in charge of watching the dogs, authorities said.
The Flakes reportedly tried to save the animals by hosing and icing them down, but authorities said they didn't call for emergency assistance before the dogs died.
A veterinarian who performed necropsies on some of the dogs said they likely suffocated.
County sheriff's investigators said in July that no evidence was found that a chewed-up electrical wire had cut power to a cooling unit and forwarded their findings to Montgomery's office.
The indictment charges the Hugheses with 22 felony counts and seven misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals and one felony count of fraudulent schemes and artifices.
Prosecutors said the couple also is facing one felony count each of fraudulent schemes and artifices.
Austin and Logan Flake each are charged with 21 felony counts and seven misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.
It wasn't immediately clear if the defendants have lawyers. Telephone messages left for the Flakes and Hugheses seeking comment weren't immediately returned.
The four are scheduled to appear at a court hearing Oct. 23.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office has asked a judge to bar the public from witnessing an Oct. 28 hearing at which lawyers will discuss an investigation of a former sheriff's deputy.
PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office has asked a judge to bar the public from witnessing an Oct. 28 hearing at which lawyers will discuss an investigation of a former sheriff's deputy.
The hearing was called by a judge presiding over a racial profiling case against Arpaio's office.
Former Deputy Ramon Charley Armendariz is being investigated on allegations that he was shaking down immigrants who were in the country illegally.
He was arrested in May after investigators found items belonging to others and bags of evidence at his home.
Armendariz implicated former colleagues on Arpaio's immigrant smuggling squad and later committed suicide.
He is relevant to the profiling case because he was a witness at the case's 2012 trial and videos of his traffic stops were discovered after his arrest.
As a registered Republican one of the biggest things that worries me about Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey is his climbing into political bed with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Why would a guy seek out the support and endorsement form a sheriff who is under federal scrutiny and court ordered regulation, has been shown to be an ineffective sheriff who blew off hundreds of cases involving rapes and child molests, has cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County well over $100 million dollars in misspent jail tax funds, has 30,000 unserved felony arrest warrants in his files, has cost us tens of millions of dollars related to lawsuits stemming from prisoners being abused and killed in his jail and who spent the last decade alienating Hispanics on both sides of the border?
PHOENIX (AP) — The manhunt for suspects who shot and wounded an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer during a traffic stop and got into a gunbattle with responding officers has led to the arrest of a woman who authorities say was hurt in the shootout.
Valeria S. Jaime, 24, was treated for a gunshot wound before she was booked into jail early Friday, said Officer James Holmes, a Phoenix police spokesman.
She was arrested on suspicion of hindering prosecution after being interviewed by investigators looking into the early Wednesday shooting in Phoenix, police and Maricopa County sheriff's spokesmen said.
A probable-cause statement released after Jaime's initial court appearance Friday said police believe her boyfriend was the shooter and she wouldn't provide details of what happened.
"Detectives determined this suspect's actions following the shooting of the DPS officer and her statements at interview were a furtive effort to mislead detectives and hinder the investigation," Holmes said.
Jaime was being released on her own recognizance with supervision restrictions and doesn't have a lawyer yet.
A second woman detained Thursday for questioning was released. But police said they also wanted to speak with three other persons of interest — two men and a woman — about the incident.
The shooting occurred after the officer pulled over a Mercury Sable with dark window tint at about 3 a.m. Wednesday near an Interstate 17 frontage road. At some point during the stop, an occupant in the car opened fire on the officer and shot him in the face.
The officer had radioed for backup, and the arriving officers engaged in a shootout with people in the car before they fled. The DPS has not identified the wounded officer, but said he's 44 years old and married and a six-year department veteran.
An active search for the other suspects is under way.
PHOENIX (AP) — A judge presiding over a racial-profiling case against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office has questioned whether Arpaio is undermining efforts to train his deputies in how to make constitutional traffic stops.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow said in an order Tuesday that he is concerned the training is being weakened by Arpaio's public comments that he would engage in the same immigration patrols that the judge found to be unconstitutional.
Snow said the sheriff is free to make whatever public statements he wishes, but added that Arpaio sets the overall direction for his agency. "Thus his deputies cannot be presumed to ignore what he says," Snow wrote.
Nearly two weeks ago, Arpaio commented about an upcoming community meeting being held by a court-appointed official in Guadalupe, a town in metro Phoenix where the sheriff launched a 2008 immigration patrol. The sheriff told The Associated Press he had no regrets about the patrol. "With the same circumstances, I'd do it all over again," Arpaio had said.
The judge set an Oct. 28 hearing to discuss whether public comments by leaders at the sheriff's office should be considered in evaluating whether the agency is in compliance with the court's order on training.
Tim Casey, an attorney who represents Arpaio's office, said he needs to evaluate whether the sheriff's public comments should be considered in determining whether the agency is in compliance with the judge's orders. "We will answer the court's questions," Casey said.
Snow ruled in May 2013 that the sheriff's office had systematically racially profiled Latinos in its regular traffic and immigration patrols. Arpaio denies that his officers have racially profiled people and has appealed the decision.
The judge is requiring Arpaio's office to install video cameras in patrol vehicles, collect data on traffic stops and conduct additional training to ensure officers aren't making unconstitutional traffic stops.
This isn't the first time the judge has questioned whether Arpaio was encouraging an attitude among rank-and-file sheriff's deputies that undermines efforts to remedy the agency's constitutional violations.
Earlier this year, Snow called Arpaio and two of his top aides into court to chide them for inaccurately summarizing his findings in the case.
Lawyers are scheduled to make arguments on Jan. 14 over Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's appeal of a ruling that concluded his officers have systematically racially profiled Latinos in its vehicle patrols.