Crime & Public Safety

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Police Searching for Shooting Suspect on Southwest Side

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

bigstock-blue-siren-flasher-on-the-poli-236642296.jpg
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
  • 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

"Thurne Mill" by Kieron Williamson - COURTESY PIMA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
  • 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.
"City Temple" by Kieron Williamson - COURTESY PIMA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
  • 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 88-CRIME.org.

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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
  • 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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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Detained Desert View Student Told Deputy He Was Undocumented

Posted By on Tue, May 7, 2019 at 2:53 PM

A PHOTO OF TORRES-MAYTORENA FROM A GOFUNDME PAGE ORGANIZED BY RODRIGUEZ
  • A photo of Torres-Maytorena from a GoFundMe page organized by Rodriguez

More than 100 Desert View High School students walked from their school to the Pima County Sheriff's Department Benson Highway HQ on Monday, May 6, to protest the Border Patrol's detainment of their classmate, Thomas Torres-Maytorena. 

Torres-Maytorena, a high school senior a few weeks from graduating, was pulled over by a Pima County Sheriff's Department deputy on May 2 and ultimately ended up detained by border patrol agents because he was an undocumented immigrant.


Deputy Jeffrey Creller pulled over Torres-Maytorena on the night of May 2 while he was driving a Kia Spectra with an expired registration, according to a Pima County Sheriff's Department report.

Torres-Maytorena, who had two passengers in the car, told Creller he had no ID or driver's license and that he had never been given identification from the state. Initially, Torres-Maytorena told the officer his name was Thomas Torres.


The car was registered to Lorena Rodriguez, who Torres-Maytorena said was his mother. After Torres-Maytorena told Creller his mom was unaware he had taken the vehicle, Creller spoke with Rodriguez over the phone, who “initially indicated she was unaware that he had the vehicle. However, she recanted a few moments later and stated she was indeed aware he had the vehicle, as she had sent him to the store to pick up some things.”


Torres-Maytorena was unable to provide Creller with a Social Security number, so Creller again called Rodriguez, but the SSN she ultimately provided did not belong to Torres-Maytorena.


Creller cited Torres-Maytorena for driving with a suspended license plate and without a driver's license, registration and insurance.

Torres-Maytorena then gave Creller his high school ID, which listed his name as Thomas Torres-Maytorena and, when Creller pointed out he hadn't given him his full name, Torres-Maytorena said that he goes by Thomas Torres, even though it wasn't his legal surname. He also told Creller that Rodriguez "was in fact not his actual mother but more of a ‘stepmother.’”


At that point, Torres-Maytorena revealed he was an “undocumented illegal immigrant.” Creller then called the Sheriff’s Department to send out Border Patrol agents, who ultimately took custody of Torres-Maytorena “for an overstayed visa.”

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Gov. Ducey Signs Texting and Driving Ban

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 3:24 PM

COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo

Texting while driving will soon be against the law in Arizona after Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation banning the use of handheld mobile devices throughout the state.

“Too many lives have been lost because of texting and driving,” said Governor Ducey. “Too many families have needlessly grieved the loss of a loved one due to a preventable tragedy. I called on legislators to provide a solution that will save lives — and I am grateful for their efforts to do just that. This legislation takes important, clear and common sense steps to prevent texting and driving. I thank everyone who worked to get this legislation across the finish line and especially the Townsend family for their courage and advocacy.”

In January of 2019, Salt River Police Officer Clayton Townsend died in the line of duty after being struck by a vehicle driven by a distracted driver. Following Officer Townsend's passing, the Townsend family joined many other families in becoming strong advocates for a ban on texting while driving.

“Distracted driving has to stop,” said Toni Townsend, mother of fallen Officer Townsend. “Although we feel the pain everyday of losing Clayton, we hope that this much-needed reform can save the lives of countless others moving forward. I want to express my gratitude to Governor Ducey and to members of the Arizona Legislature for putting this ban on texting while driving on the books.”

States implementing hands-free laws have experienced 16 percent reductions in fatalities within the first two years. Studies also show that texting while driving increases the likelihood of a crash or near-crash by 23 times.

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Oro Valley Murder Suspect Out of Jail on Reduced Bond

Posted By on Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 11:50 AM

Thirty seven-year-old Trevor Draegeth was arrested and charged with first-degree-murder after his wife, Laurie, was found dead in their Oro Valley home the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 12. - COURTESY OVPD
  • Courtesy OVPD
  • Thirty seven-year-old Trevor Draegeth was arrested and charged with first-degree-murder after his wife, Laurie, was found dead in their Oro Valley home the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 12.
Trevor Draegeth, an Oro Valley man accused of killing his wife, was released from Pima County jail Wednesday night after he paid a bond of $250,000.

He is charged with first degree murder and will plead not guilty.

On the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 12 Trevor called the Oro Valley police who came to his home at 203 E. Brearly Drive. His wife, Laurie Draegeth, 40, was found face up in their bed with a gunshot wound to her left eye. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to a report by Eric D. Peters, MD from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, Laurie was killed by a “perforating gunshot wound to the head.” The death was ruled a homicide.

Court documents show Trevor told officers he and his wife had been arguing about finances the night before her death. Upon entering their bedroom, Trevor said his wife “brandished a handgun and shot at him twice.”

Trevor said Laurie then shot herself while he embraced her “in a side hug,” next to their bed.

An officer noted in an interim complaint that Laurie planned to leave Trevor and was “kicked out” of the house days before the incident. Investigators did not discover any signs of a suicide, and noted in the statement of probable cause that she was “excited” about an upcoming trip with her two daughters.

Trevor, 37, was born in Phoenix, Arizona and has resided within the state his entire life. He purchased his home in Oro Valley in October 2007.

The bond was initially set at $10,000,000 cash, but Trevor’s defense lawyer, Sean Chapman, submitted a motion to the court on April 2 to have it reduced due to medical reasons.

The motion states Trevor was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2014. He is now largely confined a wheelchair, although he can walk short distances. He is almost blind in one eye and has palsy in his arms and hands as a result of the disease.

Chapman argued the jail is “ill-equipped to address his health concerns,” since he currently sees multiple physicians and takes several medications.

Trevor and Laurie had two daughters together, ages 9 and 7. The girls are currently in custody of Trevor’s parents, Marilyn Stark and Kevin Barnett, who also live in the Tucson area.

In addition to his health, Chapman argued for a lower bond because law enforcement officers have acknowledged Trevor is not a threat to the community and he has no criminal history.

As a condition of his release, Trevor may only speak to his children with approval of the Arizona Department of Child Safety.

In his motion, Chapman said Trevor is a member of the Arizona State Bar and has informed them “of his current situation and sought its assistance in temporarily maintaining his practice during his incarceration.”

Draegeth Law is listed in the Town of Oro Valley’s Business Navigator as a home business owned by Trevor S. Draegeth, Esq. The firm focuses on wills and estates.

Chapman was unavailable for comment on whether Trevor is currently practicing law while a suspect in a homicide case.

His next court appearance is a Case Management Conference set for May 28.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Court Documents: Grandmother Admits to Shooting Twin Boys

Posted By on Tue, Apr 9, 2019 at 12:34 PM

First responders were called out to a home in the Flowing Wells area Thursday, April 4 after multiple gunshot victims were reported. Two children were found dead at the residence, and a 55-year-old woman was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. - TUCSON LOCAL MEDIA
  • Tucson Local Media
  • First responders were called out to a home in the Flowing Wells area Thursday, April 4 after multiple gunshot victims were reported. Two children were found dead at the residence, and a 55-year-old woman was charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

On Friday, April 5, police arrested Dorothy Flood, 55, on two counts of first degree murder after two boys were found dead in a home on the 2400 block of West Kessler Place in Flowing Wells.

According to court documents recently obtained by Tucson Local Media, Flood admitted to shooting both of her grandchildren twice each, in their heads and torsos, and then attempted to kill herself by taking an unknown quantity of prescription medication. Flood told the police, "she alone was responsible for her grandchildren's deaths."

According to the Pima County Sheriff, Northwest Fire District personnel responded to a medical call near North La Cholla Boulevard and Ruthrauff Road at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4. Upon arrival, "they discovered an unresponsive adult female inside the residence. While providing medical care, they also discovered two children with obvious signs of trauma and determined they were dead. The female had symptoms of an apparent overdose and was transported to a local hospital."

The victims were identified as 8-year-old twins, Jaden and Jorden Webb. Flood was the grandmother and guardian of the boys, as their mother is deceased. Both boys were autistic.

Flood is currently being held in the Pima County Adult Detention Center on a $250,000 cash only bond. According to court documents, it’s believed that if released, Flood could make another attempt on her life.

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