Weather forces Tuba City into state of emergency

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK, August 30, 2012

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N avajo police were asked to help in the cleanup of Tuba City after horrific rain storms on July 29 created numerous problems in the community.

The storms, which began about 8 p.m., destroyed a number of the dirt roads in the area and flooded homes, businesses and streets, and damaged roof tops. A number of drivers became stranded, forced to leave their cars along side the road because of low visibility.

On the following day, the chapter's president Gerald Keams, declared state of emergency.

On July 31, a number of road agencies from the state of Arizona, the Navajo nation and the bureau of Indian affairs, along with the chapter itself, supplied heavy equipment to begin draining the flood waters from the homes and businesses.

By then, the Red Cross had stepped in to assist families that were forced to move out of their homes until they were made habitable again.

Husband attempts to chase wife and children off road

A husband-wife dispute erupted into violence on August 19 with a White Cone, Ariz. man being arrested on a variety of charges, including reckless driving and endangerment of a minor when he tried to force his wife and two children off the road.

Star Gonnie, 29, called police up about 4:15 a.m. saying that her husband, Arthur Hardy Jr., no age given, was pursuing her on Navajo Route 6 near White Cone.

She told police that she was afraid of him and agreed to meet officers at the Giant convenience store in White Cone.

But as she continued toward the store in her own vehicle, police said her husband caught up with her in his vehicle and tried to force her off the road, but in so doing, he lost control of his car and rolled over several times.

Gonnie called police and informed them of what happened, saying she was still going to the store. So two police vehicles were sent to the area, one to deal with the rollover and the other to meet with Gonnie.

The officer who went to the rollover found Hardy outside his vehicle, which was overturned on its top. He was picking up his possessions that had been scattered when is car rolled.

He told police he was on the way to work when he took a curve at too high a speed and rolled over.

Police were able to determine, however, that the rollover occurred as he was trying to force his wife's car off the road.

Inside the car were the couple's two children, one six years of age and the second a little over a year old.

Police said Gonnie's vehicle suffered some damage in the incident and Hardy had to be flown to Flagstaff for treatment of his injuries.

Gamerco man arrested for kidnapping, sexual assault

Gallup police worked with the Navajo Nation Police Tuesday in the arrest of a man who was charged with kidnapping and criminal sexual penetration in connection with an incident that began in Gallup early Sunday morning and ended up on the Navajo Reservation.

Gallup police said that Julius H. Willie, 26, of Gamerco, N.M., was charged with the kidnapping of a 31-year-old woman and raping her before he forced her to leave her home with him and drive to the reservation, where he raped her two more times before he agreed to release her.

The woman said he offered her $10,000 not to report the crime. She added that during the hours that she was held captive at knifepoint, she was able to grab the knife and stab him in the chest.

The woman made a full report to Gallup police on Sunday after she drove herself to the Gallup Indian Medical Center for injuries, including cuts, that she had received during the ordeal. She was also able to give police the name of her attacker.

Gallup Police Lt. Matt Wright said police were able to use this information to get in contact with family members of Willie who said he had been taken to his father's home in Standing Rock.

That's where Navajo tribal police found him and arrested him on Tuesday afternoon on tribal charges of kidnapping and sexual assault. Since the crimes were felonies, the FBI is expected to get involved and Willie may be facing federal charges as well as state charges.

Currently he is being held in tribal jail in Crownpoint, N.M. on the tribal charges but the McKinley County District attorney's office is expected to ask for extradition and have him returned to Gallup where a judge has already signed an arrest warrant requiring him to stay in jail until he can post a $100,000 cash-only bond.

In the meantime, Gallup Deputy Chief John Allen said Gallup detectives met with Willie late Tuesday and interviewed him, during which he admitted he had done '"something bad" but he couldn't remember all of the details because he was high on drugs and alcohol.

Hung jury, again, in Redhorse case

For the second time in three months, a New Mexico jury could not come up with an unanimous decision on the guilt of Alex Redhorse in the April 2011 murder of Dusty Rye and Alec Armijo, both 19.

Redhorse, 20, was accused of killing both men with a shotgun in the Cibola National Forest and burning their bodies as well as their car.

A Gallup jury in May deadlocked 11-1 for guilty forcing a new trial in Aztec after Redhorse's attorney, Sam Bregman, claimed that he would not be able to get a fair trial in Gallup after all of the publicity surrounding the first trial.

The Aztec jury also deadlocked 11-1 in favor of the prosecution after a four-day trial.

Officials for the McKinley County District Attorney's office said they will decide in a week whether they will retry Redhorse for a third time.

Two men sentenced for Wallow fire

Caleb Joshua Malboeuf, 26, of Benson, Ariz., and David Wayne Malboeuf, 25, of Tucson, were both sentenced Aug. 22 to 48 hours in jail and placed on probation for a term of five years for leaving a campfire unattended and building a campfire without removing all flammable material adequate to prevent its escape, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Investigation into the source and origin of the Wallow Fire indicated that the fire started when an unattended and unextinguished campfire in the Bear Wallow area burned out of its fire ring and quickly spread in high winds after Caleb and David Malboeuf had gone on a hike.

Upon smelling and seeing smoke from the direction of their campsite, the pair attempted to get back to their camp where they had left their gear. As they got closer, the smoke and flames became too intense, and they were forced to retreat. The fire, fueled by dry and windy conditions, burned over 538,000 acres and destroyed 32 residential structures, 4 commercial properties, and 36 outbuildings. Both men cooperated with authorities throughout the investigative process.

Both men were also ordered to complete 200 hours of community service, preferably on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

A restitution hearing is scheduled Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. in Flagstaff.

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