Fri, July 19

Carnival ride operator arrested at fair
Man faces molestation, parole violation charges

A night of fun turned out to be dreadful for two Cottonwood girls when they were forced to report to police that they had been molested at the Verde Valley Fair.

The girls, ages 13 and 14, told police officers that they had been touched inappropriately while on a ride at the fair on May 7.

According to a police report, the girls and their parents spoke with officers while at the station to file a complaint.

Cottonwood police reported that at approximately 6 p.m., officers were dispatched to the fair grounds, 800 Cherry St. in Cottonwood, and made contact with a transient named Floyd Lynn McAuliff who, while operating a carnival ride at the fair, allegedly molested the girls.

According to the report, the 51-year-old man was questioned and began acting in an unsafe manner by continually placing his hand on a pocketknife, which prompted police to arrest him.

The victims claim that while they were on the ride, McAullif stood directly behind them, lifted the victim's seats and pressed his pelvic region against the first victim, walked to the second victim and did the same.

According to the report, the victims allege that McAuliff was sexually aroused while he committed both of the offenses and that a male friend of the victims reportedly witnessed the incident. The victims told police they left the ride together and watched McAuliff, but he reportedly did not repeat the act while they were in the area.

Police report that both victims gave similar accounts of the incident and were interviewed separately.

Police officers escorted the victims to the fair where they located the ride, then positively identified the ride's operator as McAuliff, the man who they allege had touched them inappropriately.

Police stated that while both victims were identifying McAuliff, they were visibly shaking and disturbed while in McAuliff's presence and reportedly had difficulty looking at him.

At the Cottonwood police station, officers allegedly discovered a pocketknife and marijuana on McAuliff, then learned of his having a valid arrest warrant from the Arizona Department of Corrections.

During the booking process, police report that while McAuliff was placed in a holding cell to await a lawyer, he struck officers on two occasions, forcing them to deploy an X26 Taser weapon to restrain him.

McAuliff faces charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, molestation of a child, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In addition to these charges, McAuliff faces additional charges from the Department of Corrections warrant alleging probation violation.

Mcauliff was transported to Yavapai County Detention Facility in Camp Verde.