A Willcox man sitting in the Graham County Jail on aggravated assault charges was not armed with a machete or a gun, according to police.
The mother of some of the alleged victims made the claim in a Facebook post earlier this month.
Harold Lackner, 67, was arrested April 8, one day after a woman reported on Facebook that a man had pulled a gun on her children, used a machete to slash the tires on their four-wheeler and rammed their vehicle twice.
Police used cellphone videos to identify Lackner as a suspect and arrested him the next morning during a traffic stop near his home in Willcox.
He was booked into jail on suspicion of multiple counts of aggravated assault, endangerment, criminal damage and threatening and intimidating. He remains in jail on $200,000 bond.
According to Thatcher Police Department reports released Tuesday, the four kids were riding two ATVs on state land west of Daley Estates, land leased by Lackner to run cattle.
The kids told officers that an older man later identified as Lackner tried to stop them while they were riding their ATVs and he became upset and cursed at them when they skirted him and his pickup.
One told police that Lackner said he was going to “put a bullet in their head” and he saw Lackner reach into what he thought was a gun case, although he never saw a gun, according to the report.
The kids said they drove away from the area, but stopped together in the 3900 block of Valley View Road. They told police that moments later, Lackner arrived in his pickup truck and struck one of their ATVs.
One of the kids said Lackner pulled a shotgun out of the truck but put it back and grabbed a knife instead, according to the report. He said Lackner then slashed all four tires on one of the ATVs.
When questioned further, the boy said he didn’t actually see a gun but heard what sounded like a shotgun being loaded, the report stated.
According to the report, a muffler on one of the ATVs was damaged and all four tires were flat and had three to four inch slashes in them.
A Thatcher police officer wrote that one of the videos shows the two ATVs pulling up on Valley View.
“Within seconds the kids are seen running and the two on the last four wheeler jump off the four wheeler, just as the pickup truck comes up at a high rate of speed intentionally driving into the ATV. The ATV jumps forward, striking the second ATV that (two children) were on.”
After slashing the tires, the video shows Lackner walking around the ATV and then back to his truck, according to the officer.
A UPS driver told police that Lackner hit the ATV once more before driving off, the report stated.
Following his arrest, Lackner said he didn’t know what the officers were talking about and when shown pictures and video of the incident, denied he was in them, the report said. He then asked for an attorney.
According to a supplemental report by Thatcher Police Chief Shaffen Woods, the mother posted videos of the incident on Facebook on her own accord, not under the direction of the police department.
Woods wrote that he immediately identified the man as Lackner because he and his officers have encountered the rancher many times over the years and he “has made documented threats to town officials, including myself, before.”