Sun, Jan. 19

Rimrock area suffers offensive vandalism spree

Rimrock area suffers offensive vandalism spree

Last week, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office received several reports of vandalism in the Rimrock and Lake Montezuma areas.

The first report came from an employee of the Family Dollar store on East Beaver Creek Road. Suspects had spray painted several swastika symbols on a wall and columns of the building. Additional markings included a painted circle with an X through the middle and the words, "Say no," on some adjacent structures. After canvassing the neighborhood around the Family Dollar store, the deputy found similar spray-painted swastikas and circled-X symbols on a speed limit sign, residential mailboxes, a residential driveway and a Ford pick-up parked on North Quail Hollow Road. Another vandalism report in the 3600 block of Rimrock Drive was reported Sept. 5 in which a swastika was painted on a garage door.

Deputies determined most vandalism occurred during the evening of Aug. 30 and the early morning hours of Aug. 31. Officers talked with several witnesses who described the suspect vehicle as an older green pick-up truck with rust above the passenger-side wheel wells, brown or rusted wheel rims and white doors. Witnesses say two suspects were in the vehicle. A passenger was described as 19-20 years-of-age, skinny, with heavy acne on his face, and wearing a camouflaged-style hat with a bent brim. The driver was not described.

The Sheriff's Office is urging anyone with information about the vandalism or suspects to contact Yavapai Silent Witness, 1-800-932-3232 or on the main Sheriff's Office business line at 928-771-3260.

Over the embankment

A driver traveling north toward Jerome on State Route 89A failed to negotiate a curve Saturday evening and drove off a steep embankment.

The vehicle rolled over on the hillside coming to rest on the its side, 35- to 40-feet below the roadway.

The driver, described as a large male, 20 years of age, was able to get out of the vehicle by himself, but complained of neck and back pain and was airlifted to the Flagstaff Medical Center trauma unit.

Crews from the Jerome and Clarkdale Fire Districts organized a rope rescue to bring the driver to the highway level and he was loaded into a Verde Valley Ambulance. The ground ambulance then carried the patient to the parking lot at the Mingus highway summit where Angle-3 medical helicopter was waiting.

SWAT deployment

Cottonwood Police Department officers were dispatched to the area of Sagebrush Way in the Cottonwood Ranch subdivision on a report of shots fired Saturday at 6 p.m. Officers contacted a person identified as Chuong Vu Dinh Phan at 110 S. Sagebrush Way. Phan initially denied involvement in the incident and officers left the area.

Shortly afterward, officers were dispatched to a 911-call from Phan's brother, who was in the residence with family members. The brother advised that Phan was firing a pistol and had done so again. Police advised Phan's brother to take the family members and leave the residence. Phan lives at the residence with his mother, brother, and brother's family.

Officers continued to hear and see Phan firing his 9-mm handgun both inside and outside of his residence. It appeared that he fired shots into the air.

Officers determined that he discharged his weapon about 30 times. Verde Valley SWAT was called in while officers advised nearby neighbors to evacuate for their safety.

SWAT contacted Phan by phone and attempted to negotiate with him without success. Officers subsequently deployed CS tear gas into the residence. Phan left the house unarmed and was taken into custody without incident.

Phan was transported to the Yavapai County jail and charged with 30 counts of discharging a weapon in or at a residence, 30 counts of recklessly discharging a firearm, and 11 counts of endangerment.

It is unclear why Phan was firing his weapon. The incident remains under investigation.

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