SAFFORD — A man avoided jail in his first encounter with Safford Police, but that would not be the case in his second, just two days later.
William Butler, 33, was pulled over for traffic violations Wednesday, Oct. 23, and reportedly admitted his driver’s license was suspended. According to a police report, the vehicle Butler was driving had been seen at a Safford residence known for reports of drug activity. A used syringe and other drug paraphernalia were reportedly found on Butler and in the vehicle; also in the vehicle was a knife around 8 inches long.
Butler allegedly said, impromptu, he was recently released from prison. A criminal history check turned up felony convictions and a nine-month prison term. The officer forwarded charges of weapons misconduct, since Butler was a prohibited possessor, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Butler was released from the scene, and the vehicle was turned over to its registered owner. It was unclear from the report whether Butler had permission to drive it.
That Friday, Oct. 25, Butler was booked into the Graham County Jail after allegedly assaulting a man and crashing into the man’s vehicle.
According to a police report, a man accused Butler of attacking him during a dispute over an eviction the man was trying to serve. The alleged victim was apparently surprised to find Butler, a former tenant, at the residence. In the ensuing argument, the man reportedly refused to move his car so that Butler could leave, then tried to prevent Butler from getting into his (Butler’s) vehicle. At that point, the man claimed, Butler struck and pushed him. Butler then entered his vehicle and struck the man’s car as he drove off.
The man reportedly had a red streak on his right ear, and his vehicle suffered front bumper damage and was leaking coolant. Butler also reportedly ran over a fence as he fled, bending several of its posts. The man later alleged Butler had nearly run over him as well.
Butler was soon found at another traffic stop, riding in the passenger seat. He said he had gone to another residence to pick up a driver, because of his suspended license. Butler denied assaulting the alleged victim. For the second time in three days, drug paraphernalia was reportedly found on Butler and in the vehicle. The vehicle was subsequently released to its driver.
Butler was booked into the Graham County Jail for assault and criminal damage; a requested charge of drug paraphernalia possession was later withdrawn by the responding officer, according to a supplemental police report.