Glendale couple charged with assault, endangerment

Paul Joseph Copas, 22, and a 16-year-old girl, both of Glendale, were arrested Thursday on charges of endangerment and aggravated assault resulting from an incident that occurred in the area of Salt Mine Road and Brownsprings Ranch Road south of Camp Verde.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a report of a recovered 2001 Toyota Tacoma that had been stolen December 5 from a home in Camp Verde. A witness told the Sheriff's Office that the stolen truck had sideswiped him repeatedly while he was driving on Salt Mine Road. The Tacoma was then spotted parked on Brownsprings, about 30 feet from the road. Copas and the young woman were inside the truck, allegedly involved in sexual activity.

The pickup's owner was contacted and went to the area on Brownsprings and approached Copas, telling him to get out of the truck. Copas allegedly accelerated towards the owner, spinning tires and sideswiping the vehicle the victim was driving, then striking the front of that vehicle while passing it on the shoulder of the road.

The stolen Tacoma was later found on Salt Mine road but Copas and the juvenile had fled. They were subsequently located and arrested. Copas has been charged with five counts each of felony endangerment and aggravated assault with a dangerous instrument, one count of theft, vehicle theft, forgery, two counts of fraud and sexual conduct with a minor. The juvenile has been referred for charges, which are undetermined at this time. She is listed as a runaway juvenile in Maricopa County.

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