Crime & Public Safety

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Rep. Grijalva Responds to Report of Mistreatment in Eloy Detention Center

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 3:46 PM

Rep. Raúl Grijalva weighed in on a recent report from two national human rights groups on the harsh conditions for individuals in the Eloy Detention Center.

The report, "The Carceral State of Arizona" was released by the Advancement Project and Puente this October, and alleges degrading and inhumane treatment of migrant detainees in the Eloy facility.

The report ranks Eloy as one of the deadliest ICE facilities in the country, claiming there is a lack of adequate emergency services, food and medications, among other mistreatments. 

Grijalva, who has introduced legislation since 2015 to combat private prisons and detention centers, said that the Eloy Detention Center has been "plagued by a long and tragic history of neglect."

"Since 2003, there have been more than a dozen deaths," Grijalva said in a statement Wednesday.  "Unfortunately, many of these deaths could have been prevented had the facility acted according to law. Yet, the reality is that for-profit detention centers and private prisons are motivated by profit, not human decency. The incarceration of pregnant women, individuals with serious health needs and immigrants must stop. The federal government continues to contract with the private prison complex who acts without accountability or oversight. We must end private prisons and immigration detention centers. Congress must provide that accountability and oversight."

In 2017, Grijalva introduced the Justice is Not For Sale Act which, along with requiring "federal, state, and local governments to directly operate and perform core services at adult prisons and detention centers," requires ICE to "use Alternatives to Detention, and increases oversight to prevent companies from overcharging inmates and their families for services like banking and telephone calls."

To see the full report, visit

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Monday, November 25, 2019

Minimum Custody Inmate Escapes in Tucson

Posted By on Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 10:58 AM

  • Courtesy photo
  • Kevin Purdon
A minimum custody inmate is on the loose in Tucson after escaping authorities Sunday night.

Inmate Kevin A. Purdon, ADC #309804, escaped the Catalina unit and was last accounted for at 7:40 p.m. Purdon was admitted to prison in 2016 after being convicted out of Pima County to serve four and a half years for solicitation of a dangerous drug violation.

Arizona Department of Corrections has dispatched its chase teams, tracking dog teams and fugitive apprehension unit to find the fugitive inmate. Local authorities are also assisting in the search.

Anyone with information of his whereabouts is encouraged to call 911.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Man Sentenced for 2016 Death of Ann Day

Posted By on Tue, Nov 19, 2019 at 11:09 AM

  • Courtesy photo
  • Ann Day
More than three years ago, former state senator and Pima County supervisor Ann Day was killed in a head-on collision caused by an erratic driver. Yesterday, that driver, 27-year-old Jarrad Barnes, was sentenced to nearly 5 years in prison.

In 2018, a jury found Barnes guilty of negligent homicide (a lesser charge than manslaughter), criminal damage, endangerment, driving with an illegal drug and possession of marijuana. They found him not guilty of driving under the influence.

On the morning of May 7, 2016, Day was driving a Toyota Prius eastbound on Ina Road. Barnes was driving a Chevrolet Impala westbound on Ina Road when he swerved into the median and crashed into Day’s car. Immediately after, her vehicle was hit from the rear by a pickup truck.

Paramedics were on the scene within minutes, but Day did not survive the crash and was pronounced dead at Banner UMC’s Trauma Center shortly after. She was 77 years old.

According to the sheriff’s department, witnesses saw Barnes driving over the speed limit and hitting curbs before crossing over the road’s median. After the crash, authorities found marijuana and a glass pipe inside Barnes’ car.

On top of his prison sentence, Barnes will face three years of probation, 200 hours of community service and must pay more than $6,000 in restitution.

Day, who’s sister is former Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day O’Connor, represented Pima County’s District 1 for three terms from 2000 to 2012. She served in the Arizona Senate for 10 years before that.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Authorities Searching For Missing Man Near Oracle and Rudasill

Posted By on Thu, Oct 24, 2019 at 1:38 PM

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating 73-year-old  Budd Busch, who was last seen near the 100 block of East Rudasill Road around 8:30 a.m. this morning.

Busch is reported to be 6 feet tall and weigh approximately 175 pounds with blue eyes and gray hair. He was last seen walking while wearing a tan shirt, dark shorts and a baseball hat.

Anyone who has seen Busch or has any information as to his whereabouts is asked to call 9-1-1.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Police Searching for Shooting Suspect on Southwest Side

Posted By on Wed, Sep 4, 2019 at 4:15 PM

Local authorities are currently on the search for a male shooting suspect on Tucson’s southwest side. 
The Pima County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene of a shooting in the 4000 block of West Camino Elario on Wednesday, Sept. 4 just before 2 p.m.

According to the PCSD, they received a call of someone who was shot in a residence and sustained non-life threatening injuries.  The individual was taken to the hospital.

The suspect, described as a Hispanic male in his 30s, goes by Nico and was last seen in a pink or red shirt near Tetakusim Road.

It is believed that when the suspect fled he might have crossed through Pasqua Yaqui land, so there is a Pasqua Yaqui police deputy working with the Sheriff's Department.

According to PCSD, he may be armed with a rifle.

Residents in the area are encouraged to stay inside, lock their doors and stay alert as authorities work to locate him.

Police do know his name and residence.

Anyone who has seen a man matching the description or has any information should call 9-1-1 or 88-crime.

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Sheriff's Department Suspends Secure Transport Contract After Prisoners Escape

Posted By on Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 2:53 PM

  • Tucson Police Department Twitter
After two inmates escaped custody while being transported to the Pima County Adult Detention Complex, the Sheriff's Department has suspended it’s use of Kansas-based transport company Security Transport Services (STS).

On Aug. 26, STS was transporting 56-year-old Blane Barksdale and 59-year-old Susan Barksdale, who were being extradited to Tucson in relation to charges connected in the murder of Frank Bligh, a 72-year-old Tucson man.

The Barksdales overpowered STS guards in Utah, escaping and driving near to St. Johns, Arizona.

According to a press release from the department, there is no indiction the Barksdales are traveling towards Pima County.

STS has been contracted with the county since November 2016 to provide transport services. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is one of eight counties in the state who use private transport companies to help keep costs down.

Other reasons for using a private company have to do with the high cost of extradition, distance and deadlines when an inmate has court proceedings.

STS transported 15 inmates in 2006, 100 in 2017 and 100 in 2018. So far this year, they have transported about 70 inmates.

The contract as is expires in November and the Sheriff’s Department has suspended use of their service "pending a review of the incident/escape.”

Anyone with information on the escape or the Barksdales should contact 9-1-1 or 88-crime. They are believed to be armed and dangerous. 

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Police looking for $50,000 in stolen paintings

Posted By on Wed, Jul 24, 2019 at 3:54 PM

  • Courtesy Pima County Sheriff’s Department
  • "Thurne Mill" by Kieron Williamson

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is on the lookout for roughly $50,000 worth of paintings stolen from a northside home earlier this month.

On Wednesday, July 10 just after 6:30 p.m., sheriff’s deputies responded to a burglary call in the 6900 block of North Chula Vista Reserve Place, near the intersection of West Ina and North Oracle Roads, and were told the house was broken into earlier that day.
"Kelling Cottages" by Kieron Williamson - COURTESY PIMA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
  • Courtesy Pima County Sheriff’s Department
  • "Kelling Cottages" by Kieron Williamson

Among the possessions taken were three paintings by then-9-year-old Kieron Williamson. The three pieces, “City Temple,” Kelling Cottages” and "Thurne Mill,” were estimated to be worth approximately $50,000 by the owner.

Williamson, 16, is a watercolor artist from England whose paintings have sold for thousands of dollars. In 2010, a Williamson exhibition sold roughly £150,000 ($187,000) worth of paintings in under an hour.
  • Courtesy Pima County Sheriff’s Department
  • "City Temple" by Kieron Williamson

PCSD Burglary Unit detectives have taken over the investigation, and are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in this case. Anyone with information is asked to call 911. Anonymous tips with the potential for a reward can be submitted by text, phone or by going to

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

RPG and Bombs Found After Teen Killed on North Side

Posted By on Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 9:54 AM

  • Courtesy Pima County Sheriff's Department
After one local teen died of a gunshot wound from an accidental shooting, police found a rocket propelled grenade launcher, an AK-47, several homemade pipe bombs and other weapons in the residence on the 8000 block of North Country Home Lane.

Luis Angel Lopez Jr., 17, died Friday, June 7 after being struck by an AK-47 round which was reportedly accidentally discharged by 19-year-old Raymundo Lopez-Casillas.

During the investigation of the shooting, detectives found suspected bombs inside the residence and quickly exited and called Pima Regional Bomb Squad.

All weapons and explosives were safely removed from the residence and the investigation has been turned over to federal authorities.

This article is an update of an original article published June 7:

One person died in a shooting Friday northwest of Tucson.

According to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, someone died in the 8000 block of North Country Home Lane, near Mountain View High School and the Crooked Tree Golf Course.

The PCSD homicide unit is actively investigating, though authorities have said the shooting was an isolated incident with no present danger.

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