A 22-year-old Thatcher man was arrested last weekend after a group of people told police he pointed a revolver at them and fired a shot in the air outside JD’s Bar.
Jesus Alfonzo Duarte was booked into the Graham County jail on suspicion of aggravated assault, unlawful discharge of a weapon and endangerment Nov. 13.
According to Thatcher police reports, two women from two different groups began arguing inside the bar around 9 p.m. and they and their friends and relatives ended up going outside.
Members of one of the groups told police Duarte pulled a .38 caliber revolver out during the argument and pointed it “right in front” of the nose of a 28-year-old man.
His 30-year-old buddy grabbed the gun and forced it up into the air.
According to the 30-year-old, Duarte fired off one shot, pointed the gun at him and then fled with his group in a red pickup truck. According to the 28-year-old, Duarte fired off the shot and pointed the gun at everyone in their group and then fled.
Graham County deputies, Pima and Safford officers found the pickup at a home off Robinson Ranch Road and Rowley Drive and took Duarte into custody.
According to the police report, Duarte told officers he pulled out his gun to get his mother-in-law to stop arguing with another woman with whom she used to work.
“He stated he fired off one round into the air to get them to separate. I asked Jesus if he pointed the gun at anybody prior to shooting it and he stated yes. He explained that he pointed it at everybody. I asked him why, he stated, ‘I’m crazy,’” an officer wrote in the report.
Duarte told the officer he never intended to shoot anybody and he never meant for the one round to go off. Duarte, who is awaiting sentencing in a drug smuggling case, also said he only had the gun with him because he’d gone shooting earlier in the day, the report stated.
When he got to his mother-in-law’s house, Duarte said he threw the gun in some bushes because he didn’t want to get shot by the officers he knew would be showing up, the report stated.
Officers found and seized the gun along with 23 rounds of ammunition.