Attempted Murder Charges Possible In Assault

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A Payson boy is in Scottsdale Osborne Hospital with skull fractures following an attack with a ball-peen hammer.

Gila County Sheriff's Officer Benjamin Moss, who is investigating the attack, is calling it attempted murder.

The attack occurred at a party in Ox Bow Estates at about 3 a.m., Sunday, June 30.

Moss said according to witnesses, three Native American males came to the party, uninvited, but were not asked to leave until they started throwing beer bottles. A fight ensued and the three left, but came back later with others.

He said witnesses told him the Native American males came into the house, several of them held the victim down while another beat him with the hammer.

Another male attending the party tried to help the victim and was also attacked, but not severely injured, Moss said.

The severely injured juvenile was air-lifted with life threatening injuries, but is expected to be released today (Tuesday).

Moss said no arrests have been made, but the suspects are believed to be on the Tonto Apache Reservation. He said three were directly involved in the attack, while three others were indirectly involved.

Moss said the sheriff's office is working with both the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Tonto Apache Tribal Council on the case.

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