Children locked in their room

Children locked in their room

A child abuse report brought Cottonwood Police to an apartment in the 1600 block of East Birch Street Friday morning. A maintenance worker reportedly found two little girls locked in a bedroom all day without any adults or other supervision.

Officers determined that there was no phone for the girls to use in case of an emergency. A broomstick was lodged into the window sill to prevent it from being opened and the girls were unable to open the bedroom door because it was locked from the outside with a deadbolt.

The air conditioning did not work and the girls had to use a trashcan as a toilet. Child Protective Services took custody of the children.

The girls' mother, Veronica Lizardis-Leon, 25, arrived a short time after police and was subsequently arrested for locking her 5- and 6-year old daughters in the bedroom while she was at work. Lizardis-Leon was charged with four counts of child abuse per domestic violence and booked at the Yavapai County Jail.

Lightning strikes Verde Valley Fire

With all the rain and lightning during Sunday's thunderstorm, the Verde Valley Fire Station on Godard Road in Verde Village was among the targets for a lightning strike.

The agency's microwave communication system was knocked out by the strike. That meant the dispatch calls from the Sedona Fire Communications Center were not audible inside the fire station, the Internet was knocked out, along with the alpha-numeric pagers use to display details of a dispatched call.

Fire crews were still able to monitor their personal remote radios and kept operations timely, even though their in-house communications was quiet.

The bike was on the roof

Rick Alfred Runyon was arrested Thursday for violation of a valid order of protection.

The 45-year-old man had been ordered to stay away from a 53-year old Cottonwood woman. The order was served at 2 a.m. Thursday morning.

The woman called Cottonwood police one hour later. Runyon had left two voice messages on the cell phone of the woman the order was intended to protect. During the calls, Runyon accused the woman of taking his bicycle.

The woman advised that Runyon lived in a shed on 15th Street and the officer drove there to speak with Runyon.

When the officer got to the address, he found Runyon's bicycle lying on the roof of the shed.

Just after 9 a.m., Runyon was arrested the charge of interfering with a judicial proceeding and taken to the Camp Verde Jail.

Sedona area vehicle burglary

At 10:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, a Yavapai County Sheriff's deputy was dispatched to a reported vehicle burglary in the 100 block of Cathedral Vista Drive, near Sedona's Chavez Ranch Road. The female victim told deputies the theft took place in the prior 24 hours.

She explained that she had left her vehicle unlocked with her purse inside. Tuesday morning, she discovered her Ipod, two endorsed checks and about $120 in cash were taken from her purse. The victim recalled hearing noises at about 4 a.m. on that morning, but did not investigate or contact authorities.

The Sheriff's Office reminds residents to "Make Common Sense a Habit," and avoid this type of unfortunate loss. Always remove valuables from your car and lock the vehicle, especially when parked outside overnight. Just placing items out of view will not prevent the theft, as suspects commonly will thoroughly search all interior areas of a vehicle looking for property. Many vehicle burglaries are a crime of opportunity, and suspects will case vehicles in a neighborhood by checking for unlocked vehicle doors and then look for valuables inside. If required to park outside, attempt to keep the vehicle in a well-lit area and visible.

Anyone with information regarding this burglary is asked to contact Yavapai Silent Witness at (800) 932-3232 or the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office at (928) 771-3260.

Tampering with political signs a crime

The Yavapai Sheriff's Office is investigating reports that political campaign signs placed within incorporated and unincorporated areas of Yavapai County have been vandalized or stolen. Anyone who knowingly removes, alters, or defaces a campaign sign is guilty of a crime. Depending on the nature of the activity, charges can include vandalism, theft, trespassing and even burglary if the crime occurs within specified fence lands and certain defined structures. Many signs posted throughout Yavapai County next to major roadways are, in fact, on private property and placed with the respective landowner's permission.

The Arizona Revised Statue includes a law specific to the tampering of political signs 45-days prior to a primary election and ending seven days after the general election. The primary election this year is scheduled Sept. 2. That means the law takes effect July 19. It a class-2 misdemeanor for any person to knowingly remove, alter, deface or cover any political sign during the specified time period. Violation of the law is punishable by up to 4 months in jail and a $750.00 fine.

Those running for various elected offices throughout Yavapai County deserve the opportunity to display campaign signs in a legal manner without fear of damage or theft. YCSO encourages anyone who sees someone tampering with political signs, or has information regarding individuals who have stolen or defaced campaign signs, to contact Yavapai Silent Witness at (800) 932-3232 or YCSO at (928) 771-3260.

Illegals flee during Interstate traffic stop

A Yavapai County Sheriff's deputy stopped a white GMC van with Oklahoma plates early Saturday afternoon for impeding the flow of traffic on the north bound I-17 in the Cordes Lakes area. The deputy noticed that all passenger windows had been painted to prevent the chance that anyone would see inside.

The officer activated his light bar, but the van refused to stop and continued driving for at least another half mile before finally pulling to the right shoulder. As the vehicle slowed, a woman jumped from the right side of the van falling to the pavement. One of the van's tires struck the female's left leg. Two male passengers picked her up and fled with her. The van continued its slow roll as more passengers fled the vehicle. It finally came to stop after striking a barbed wire fence about 80 yards from the roadway. Four passengers stayed in the vehicle and were detained.

Because one of the passengers who fled might have been injured, a DPS Ranger helicopter was dispatched to locate those who fled to determine if they were injured. EMS personnel were also dispatched. Deputies eventually found six subjects, including three female passengers near the highway. None of those detained required medical attention, including the woman who first jumped from the van. All were provided water. 10 were confirmed to be illegal and were taken to the Camp Verde jail pending transfer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 49-year-old Anisberto Zenteno, was in possession of a forged Mexican driver's license and was charged with possession of a forged document, resisting arrest and unlawful flight. Two additional passengers who fled the scene were never found.

One day earlier, a Sheriff's deputy stopped a Chevy Astro van with Tennessee plates in the Camp Verde area on northbound I-17. The van contained 15-illegal aliens who were also transported to the Camp Verde jail pending transfer to ICE custody.

Indecent exposure arrest

A 61-year-old Camp Verde man was arrested Friday for indecent exposure.

Just before 3 p.m., Frederick Burns was arrested for one count of indecent exposure and one count of disorderly conduct at the Territorial Town Inn on S. Main Street in Camp Verde.

The complainant reported that Burns had the room door wide open where everyone who walked by could see his nude body.

Burns was arrested processed, and booked into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde with his pants on.

Fax leads to arrest of domestic violence suspect

Yavapai Sheriff's Office deputies arrived at a home on Teapot Rock Road in the Village of Oak Creek Friday morning regarding a reported domestic violence assault.

Sedona Police Department called the county after receiving a fax identifying 51-year-old Timothy La Branch as a domestic violence assault suspect. The letter, which came from a concerned family member, indicated that La Branch had assaulted his wife on or about July 8, and the note expressed concern for her safety.

Deputies arrived at the home and spoke to the victim who confirmed the assault by La Branch. The woman had visible bruising to the face, arms and legs. She said, she was unable to call YCSO after the attack because La Branch has disabled the phone but later told family members about the assault and learned they planned to call the police.

La Branch was located at the home and he was arrested for domestic violence assault and disorderly conduct and taken to the county jail.


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