SAFFORD — Aggravated assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges await a man who reportedly fought with a Safford Police officer at City Hall.
On Wednesday morning, Aug. 14, according to a police report, workers at City Hall called to report that Sylvester Sanchez, 34, was “being very demanding.” Sanchez, reportedly a regular visitor during the last six months, was there to obtain some documents for a property outside the city.
Witnesses reportedly said he seemed more agitated than usual. One said Sanchez asked for a certain employee and was told the employee was not in; another said he was advised to go the Clerk of the Superior Court for the documents. In any case, Sanchez asked to speak with Police Chief Joe Brugman, who was unavailable. An officer was dispatched to City Hall, and the trouble soon started.
The officer contacted Sanchez, known to police through many prior contacts, in a City Hall office and asked him outside. During their conversation in front of City Hall, Sanchez reportedly started toward the building, ignoring the officer’s requests not to go back inside. The officer reportedly put a hand on Sanchez’s shoulder, and Sanchez threw a stainless steel coffee mug at him.
Sanchez then allegedly charged the officer, attempting to strike him and grab his duty belt. The officer tried to deploy his Taser, but it misfired. The officer hit Sanchez on the head with his Taser handle; Sanchez then stopped and turned back toward City Hall. He managed to re-enter the building despite an employee’s attempt to lock him out and a blast of pepper spray by the officer.
As workers and visitors coughed from pepper spray filling City Hall offices, Sanchez allegedly came at the officer again. The officer finally managed to take Sanchez to the ground, but Sanchez continued to struggle, grabbing the officer’s belt and holster. A second officer arrived in time to help handcuff Sanchez.
At some point in the struggle, Sanchez suffered a cut to the forehead, leaving blood on the floors of City Hall. He was taken by ambulance to Mount Graham Regional Medical Center, where he received seven staples for the wound. He was then booked into the Graham County Jail without further incident.