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Wed, Feb. 26

Accused abuser escaped on interstates; turned self in

Raydaynold Al_Yazzie

Raydaynold Al_Yazzie

COCONINO COUNTY –A man wanted on domestic violence charges fled from Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputies who were called to the Cordes Junction area, but after escaping up I-17, the man later turned himself in.

Raydaynold Al Yazzie, 28, whose last known address was in Thoreau, New Mexico, will be facing more than a dozen charges, including assault per domestic violence, DUI, fleeing from an officer, theft of a motor vehicle and preventing the use of a phone in an emergency. His bond is set at $25,000.

Deputies were called to the Pilot gas station in Cordes Junction at about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday by a 28-year-old pregnant woman who reported her boyfriend was “beating her up,” and trying to drive away with her 3-year-old daughter in her car, according to the YCSO. The trio had been traveling from Phoenix on their way to New Mexico.

The victim, who called from a landline, said Yazzie became upset during a stop at the Pilot. She said as she attempted to exit the car to use the bathroom, Yazzie grabbed her hair and pulled her back into the car, climbing over her daughter to do so.

When the victim tried to leave again with her daughter, Yazzie allegedly grabbed her daughter’s legs and told her not to take the girl. Yazzie attempted to punch the victim, she told deputies, but she was eventually able to break free and get to a phone in the store.

With her daughter in his arms, Yazzie then kept walking in and out of the store telling the victim it was time to leave. While the victim was on the phone with a 911 operator, Yazzie walked over and took the phone from her, disconnecting the call.

The victim demanded her daughter back and Yazzie complied.

Within 10 minutes of the victim’s call, a deputy arrived and stopped behind the suspect vehicle, his emergency lights activated. Instead of following the deputy’s orders, Yazzie got into the victim’s car, made a 3-point turn, and sped away, eventually entering I-17 northbound.

Deputies learned he had been drinking and using marijuana. The deputy began pursing him as he maintaining speeds well over 100 mph, but after a short time, the pursuit was terminated due to safety concerns.

Deputies in the Camp Verde area saw the vehicle continue north on I-17 at more than 100 mph. They followed in a non-pursuit mode for a short distance before losing sight of the vehicle.

Updates on the suspect and vehicle were shared with area law enforcement agencies. It was later reported that the suspect was spotted driving east on I-40 and had fled from both the Flagstaff Police Department and Coconino Sheriff’s Office while still in the victim’s vehicle.

Later Wednesday morning, Yazzie called the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and offered to surrender. Deputies met him near the Twin Arrows Casino, where he was arrested and booked into the Coconino County Jail.

The pregnant victim did not have her phone or any possessions and was unable to contact any family or friends. To ensure her safety, a YCSO deputy drove her and her daughter back to their Phoenix apartment that morning.

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