Mon, June 24

Domestic violence, gunfire alleged at Fossil Creek

Joshua Stratford

Joshua Stratford

Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to Fossil Creek area campgrounds Saturday evening for a family fight.

While driving the long road to the campground deputies were stopped by a car carrying the victim, her son, and two others who were getting away from the incident scene.

The woman said that her son's father, 28-year-old Joshua Stratford of Prescott Valley, hurt her in front of their 7-year-old son.

She said Joshua picked her up and threw her to the ground where she struck her head on a rock and lost consciousness briefly.

Another family member tried to break up the fight, but Joshua showed a handgun and began shooting in their direction, according to the woman. The group was able to get to her vehicle and leave.

Deputies, using GPS coordinates from the 911 call, found the campsite near Childs Power Road and approached the only tent, where they found Stratford sleeping inside.

Stratford was arrested and denied that he had a handgun, claiming he put the weapon in the woman's vehicle before she fled.

The victim already had told deputies she saw Joshua toss the gun into the woods. A search of the campsite and surrounding wilderness for the gun was not immediately successful.

Stratford was booked into the Camp Verde jail, charged with domestic violence assault, three counts of endangerment, having a gun that is not permitted and disorderly conduct. He has since been released on his own recognizance.

The following day, an off-duty deputy was camping in the area and in the daylight, located the handgun allegedly used by this suspect.