Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Arson Arrest

On 03/16/18 there was a fire inside the Home Depot at 1545 S Crismon in Mesa. Mesa Police officers and personnel from Mesa Fire and Medical responded to the location and determined the fire was suspicious and the case was deemed an arson investigation. Surveillance footage showed a male subject, with what appears to be a pre-mixed fuel container, leaving the aisle just before the fire was seen on camera. Through physical evidence left at the scene, detectives identified 50-year-old Anthony Pember as an investigative lead. On 3/20/18 officers located Pember and obtained probable cause to arrest him for providing a false name, possession of a dangerous drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. In a post arrest interview, he confirmed being present at the Home Depot on the day of the arson and was subsequently charged for one count of Arson of an Occupied Structure. Great investigative work by all involved.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Aggravated Assault - Shoplifting Arrest

On March 17, 2018 a shoplifting occurred at the Bed Bath and Beyond located at 2039 N Power Rd. During that incident a male victim observed store employees chasing the shoplifting suspect who then fled the scene in a silver Nissan Altima. The victim followed the suspect in his own vehicle until the suspect vehicle came to a stop and the suspect exited his car and fired a weapon at the victim striking his vehicle. The victim’s four-year-old daughter was in the vehicle at the time.

The victim stopped following and the suspect got away. Officers responded, and an investigation was initiated. The next day we responded to an unknown trouble call at the Super 8 Motel located at 1550 S Gilbert. A caller was reporting prostitution activity at this location and officers responded to investigate. They observed a silver Nissan backed in to the parking lot with its lights on and a male and female in the vehicle. They approached to speak to the occupants and the female immediately exited the vehicle. The male remained in the vehicle and as officers approached they observed he had a short barrel shotgun resting between his right leg and the vehicle console.

The suspect was asked to step out of the vehicle and when told why officers were in the area he identified himself with a fake name. He was later positively identified as Michael Schturmgeist and was placed under arrest for false reporting. The vehicle was ultimately towed from the scene and during an inventory search, officers located drugs and drug paraphernalia. Officers recognized the similarities with this vehicle and the shoplifting incident the day prior and asked Schturmgeist about that incident. Schturmgeist confirmed he was involved in the shoplifting incident and said he was trying to get away from the vehicle that was following him and therefore stopped in the road and fired one round from the shotgun at the vehicle. Both subjects at this scene were not very cooperative and no further evidence of prostitution was observed.

This is a great example of a thorough police investigation and the dangerous nature of our profession. We responded to an unknown trouble call and officers were unknowingly contacting a prohibited possessor who had a weapon with him that had just shot at someone the day prior while committing a crime. Thanks to the officer’s awareness they were able to safely resolve this crime and apprehend a dangerous criminal.

Schturmgeist has been charged with multiple offenses stemming from both incidents to include: two counts of Aggravated Assault, possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of a weapon by a prohibited possessor, possession of drug paraphernalia, shoplifting, theft, and false reporting to law enforcement.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Aggravated Assault on Law Enforcement - Arrest

Every year in the U.S., about 150 police officers are killed in the line of duty. Every day, 150 officers are assaulted and 10 are shot at. Nationally, being struck by a vehicle during a traffic stop is the leading cause of death for peace officers over the past decade, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. In the past decade, 126 officers have lost their lives being struck by a vehicle.

On March 16, 2018 at approximately 3 am, a Mesa Police officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for driving with no head lights on. The vehicle came to a stop at 800 S Elm and the single occupant driver identified herself verbally as Joy McAllester. The officer used the information provided during the stop to learn that the driver was, in fact, 21 year old Jaquetta McAllister and had a suspended license and an active warrant from the City of Phoenix. When the officer returned to the vehicle to contact McAllister and attempt to detain her, she placed the vehicle in drive and fled at a high rate of speed. The fleeing vehicle struck the officer’s right arm and the open door struck his left hand. Fortunately, he did not suffer injuries from this encounter.

This incident demonstrates how quickly a scene can go from a civil traffic stop to a misdemeanor criminal situation to a serious felony, placing an officer at great risk of injury in just a few seconds. McAllister was later contacted at a known residence, where she was hiding under a bathroom sink. She continued to attempt to resist arrest until she was handcuffed and detained. McAllister has been charged with Aggravated Assault, Resisting Arrest, Unlawful Flight from Law Enforcement, False Reporting, Driving on a Suspended License, Reckless Driving and Driving without Headlights.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Crime Stats - February 2018

The following are the top 5 calls for service and arrests for each patrol district -- 02/01/2018 through 02/28/2018. 

To see which district you are in, click on each individual district listed at left to see their map.

Call TypeFrequencyCall TypeFrequency
Check Welfare364Check Welfare368
Subjects Disturbing348Subjects Disturbing336
Other Agency Assist234Warrant Arrest213
Trespass173Other Agency Assist209
Civil Matter149Trespass197

Aggravated Assault8Aggravated Assault8
Breaking & Entering3Breaking & Entering7
Other Assaults28Other Assaults36
Disorderly Conduct18Disorderly Conduct21
Sex Offenses1Sex Offenses2
All Other
All Other193

Call TypeFrequencyCall TypeFrequency
Check Welfare346Check Welfare361
Subjects Disturbing287Subjects Disturbing238
Burglary Alarm199Burglary Alarm229
Other Agency Assist184Other Agency Assist194
Civil Matter164Suspicious Activity149

Aggravated Assault11Aggravated Assault1
Breaking & Entering3Breaking & Entering6
Other Assaults18Other Assaults22
Disorderly Conduct14Disorderly Conduct20
Sex Offenses1Sex Offenses1
Vandalism12 Vandalism8
All Other93 All Other71

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Homicide Victim Identified

On March 9, 2018, at about 8:00pm, officers responded to 549 E. Hilton for a welfare check.  The caller reported there was an unknown person outside of their house calling for help. Patrol arrived and found an adult male suffering from obvious trauma.  He was transported to the hospital where he later passed away from his injuries.

The victim has now been identified as Callow J. Brown, Age 27.  Brown did not live at the home and the circumstances of his death remain under investigation.  The next-of-kin has been notified.  Anyone who may have been in the area of Mesa Dr. and Hilton on March 9, 2018, in the early evening hours and observed anything suspicious, is encouraged to contact the Mesa Police Department at 480-644-2211, option 2,  or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Suspect Who Shot at Officer Booked into Jail.

The suspect who shot at officers in the early morning hours of  March 10, 2018, has been released from the hospital and booked into jail.

Abel Manuel Lopez, age 27, was the driver of a vehicle on Saturday morning when an officer attempted to pull him over for expired registration. Lopez did not stop and sped away from the officer. The officer did not pursue, but the Mesa Police Air Unit was able to follow the vehicle and update its location to ground officers. The vehicle ultimately stopped at 226 N. Hobson, where Lopez exited the car and ran through the complex.

The first arriving officer gave chase and cornered Lopez in a stairwell. When the officer started giving verbal commands for Lopez to come out, he instead pulled a handgun and pointed it the officer.  Due to the threat of being shot, the officer fired his duty weapon at Lopez.  Lopez still did not comply and fired several rounds at the officer. The officer again called for Lopez to comply and surrender.  Instead, Lopez leaned from behind the stairwell and pointed his gun at the officer. Again, due to the threat, the officer fired one more round at Lopez, who then complained that he was injured.

Continuing to be defiant, Lopez threw his gun in the direction of the officer and remained concealed in the stairwell. Refusing to come out, a police K9 was deployed and he bit, allowing the officers to take Lopez into custody. Lopez was transported to the hospital for a gunshot wound and dog bite injuries. Once the scene was secure, the gun thrown by Lopez was examined.  It appears he threw the gun because it was jammed and would no longer fire.

Fortunately, no officers or other residents of the complex were injured in the exchange of gunfire.  This is another example of the dangers of police work. We often here the phrase "routine traffic stop."  This incident started as a traffic stop that turned out to be anything but "routine."

Lopez has been booked for:
3 counts of Aggravated Assault with deadly weapon, a class 2 felony.
1 count of Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement officer, a class 2 felony.
1 count of Possession of a weapon for Prohibited Possessor, a class 4 felony.
1 count of Unlawful Flight from Law Enforcement, a class 5 felony.
1 count of Resisting Arrest, a class 1 misdemeanor.
Abel Manuel Lopez

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Fatal Hit and Run Suspect Arrested

After two years of investigation, the family of William Hawkins Jr. may finally have closure.  Hawkins was walking in the 1300 block of West University on the evening of March 6, 2016, when he was struck and killed by a passing vehicle. The driver did not stop and fled the scene.  Detectives have been working leads since the night of the accident.

Based on a tip from Silent Witness, Felicia Marie Hernandez, age 34, was identified as the driver.  Once identified, forensic evidence and interviews were conducted.  During her interview, Hernandez admitted to her involvement in the crime.

We are happy to report that nearly two years to the day, Hernandez has been arrested and booked for one count of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, ARS 28-661.B, a class 2 Felony.

This arrest was great detective work and hopefully provides closure to the family and community.

Suspect Felicia Hernandez
Victim William Hawkins Jr.

Monday, March 5, 2018

March 4, 2018 Homicide Suspect Arrested

On March 4, 2018, Mesa Police received a call for service about a black adult male lying or sleeping in the middle of the street by the light rail construction just east of the intersection of Stapley Road and Main Street, in Mesa.  When officers arrived, they located 34-year-old Robert Henry Stevenson unresponsive with multiple stab wounds.  He was pronounced deceased on scene by Mesa Fire and Medical.

During the initial investigation officers were able to locate the crime scene at the Frontier Motel located at 1307 E. Main Street, just west of where Mr. Stevenson was found.  Through witness information it was subsequently determined that the possible suspect involved was Derick Eugene Holman.  Mr. Holman apparently went to 1307 E. Main and confronted Mr. Stevenson who was the ex-boyfriend of Holman’s wife.

Detectives later located Mr. Holman at a relative’s residence in Phoenix at approximately noon on March 4th.  Evidence supportive of his involvement in the Homicide were also found on Mr. Holman.  He was taken into custody and booked for one count of Second Degree Murder, a class one felony.

The Mesa Police Department worked non-stop to locate the individual responsible. Their ability to follow up on limited details, locating, and arresting a suspect within 24 hours of the incident is remarkable. These types of incident are challenging, especially when there are partial details. An outcome such as this, can provide the victim’s family and community with a sense of closure and relief.

Derick Holman