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Mortal Combat

River and Swan Roads, Feb. 13, 11:59 p.m.

A report from the Pima County Sheriff's Department illustrates the commonly held notion that there are at least two sides to every story.

The two men involved in this encounter agree that they got into a physical confrontation in a parking lot.

The first man said he had been backing out of a space at his apartment complex when a truck blocked him in. He waited for a minute, thinking the truck would move, but it stayed put, he told authorities.

Then, he said, he rolled down his window and heard the other driver ask, "You got a problem?"

"Yeah, you're blocking me in," the man reportedly replied. To which the other driver reportedly said, "You shouldn't have cut me off; why don't you step outside?"

The man said the other driver pulled into a space, got out of his vehicle and rushed toward him, so he, in turn, got out of his vehicle with a holstered gun and baton. Seeing that he was packing heat, his alleged assailant "backed up" but "continued to antagonize" him, the man said.

He told deputies he eventually put his gun away (for unknown reasons), prompting the man to rush and strike him near his left ear. A scuffle broke out, he said, and he reportedly fought to get on top of his attacker; they eventually separated and got into their respective cars. His attacker then reportedly tailed him for an undetermined amount of time.

The second man's story--obtained when PCSD contacted him by phone--was quite different.

He said a man was trying to get in or out of a parking space and didn't see him attempting to drive by. The man finally got out of the way, but started "cussing and screaming," he told authorities.

Next, he said, the man allegedly threw a holstered gun on the dash. He told deputies he asked the guy what he was doing, and the guy reportedly replied: "I don't need the gun; I'll beat your ass without it!"

He told deputies the man then got out of the car with his gun, still holstered, and the baton; he said he backed up in response, and, thinking the guy was crazy, tried to call 911. He couldn't get a signal after several attempts, he told PCSD.

In this version, the two men met in the middle of the road, exchanged swings and engaged in general-purpose fighting, before they got into their respective cars; he reported that the guy with the gun tailed him for a spell. And he said his girlfriend, who was in his car, could corroborate his story.

PCSD informed the second man they would pursue the pair's encounter as a "mutual combat case," in which both parties would both be arrested if either wanted to press charges.

The second man said he "would only take the case as far as the other person wanted to." PCSD hadn't been able to contact the first man to get his decision at the time of the report.

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