Fri, Feb. 21

Man accused of assaulting police

A Lake Montezuma man was arrested on several charges related to a family fight and an altercation with law enforcement Saturday.

At about 10 a.m., Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to 4765 Valley Lane in Lake Montezuma for a reported physical family fight between a mother and son.

According to YCSO, as deputies were interviewing the 57-year-old victim, her son, 34-year-old Athan George Mertis, threw a rock through one of the patrol car windows. He then attacked the deputies, assaulting them with a pitchfork, and fled to his home to barricade himself.

The Camp Verde Marshal's Office, Department of Public Safety and the YCSO SWAT Team arrived to assist.

With the SWAT Team on scent, negotiations were initiated with the suspect. Mertis threatened to set his home on fire. The SWAT Team went into the home at about 2:30 p.m. and arrested Mertis. He resisted arrest but was taken into custody without incident. There were no injuries during the incident or arrest.

Mertis was transported to the Camp Verde Detention Center where he was booked on two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, one count felony criminal damage, one count assault per domestic violence and two counts of resisting arrest.

Valley church burglarized

Cottonwood police responded to the reported burglary at the Emmanuel Fellowship Church on Fir Street in Cottonwood.

According to police, the church was left at about 10 p.m. the previous night, when volunteers arrived Saturday night to prepare for an Easter production they realized a shed near the church had been broken into.

Nothing was missing from the shed. The case is still under investigation.

Truck stolen in Cottonwood

Clarkdale, Cottonwood and Yavapai Apache law enforcement cooperated in the arrest of Charles Auston, 18 of Cornville Saturday for the theft of a 1978 Dodge pickup.

A Cottonwood officer was dispatched to the report of the stolen truck. The victim stated that he parked the truck in the Safeway parking lot in Cottonwood and at about 1 a.m. noticed that it wasn't where he left it.

Clarkdale and Yavapai-Apache police made a stop on the truck in Clarkdale. The victim was taken to his vehicle in Clarkdale and could not find any damage or items that were missing.

At about 1:30 a.m. Auston was arrested and transported to the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde.

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