Payson Man Indicted For Injuring Officer


Reed Hatch, 22, Payson, was indicted by the Gila County grand jury on five charges in a pedestrian-vehicle accident the evening of Aug. 18 in which Department of Public Safety Officer Charlie Hopkins, 22, was seriously injured.

"He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving a fatality or serious injury, DUI-impairment, and DUI with a blood alcohol content above .08," Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores said.


Reed Hatch

Hatch was arraigned on the charges Monday, Sept. 26 and is in custody on a $100,000 bond, Flores said.

"He pleaded not guilty," the county attorney said.

His arraignment was in Payson, but he is being held in the Globe Gila County Jail, said Cpl. Swede Carlson of the Payson Gila County Sheriff's Office.

Flores said Hatch is scheduled for a hearing on release conditions Oct. 11 and a case management conference Oct. 24. Both will be held in the Payson courthouse.

John Brisson, Payson, has been appointed to represent Hatch, Flores said. Brisson said he had no comment at this time.


Charlie Hopkins

Hopkins, who was on the sidewalk near the Mazatzal Casino, was reportedly hit by Hatch, who left the scene, said Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner.

Gartner said Hopkins was thrown into a ditch by the impact and suffered critical injuries, including head trauma.

Hopkins was airlifted to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix and underwent surgery. He was placed in a drug-induced coma to allow the swelling of his brain to stop.

"Charlie has been out of the deep coma for more than a week," said his father, Jeff Hopkins, Sept. 29. "His condition continues to improve. He still has a breathing tube in his throat and cannot speak, but is now breathing through it on his own. He has an intestinal infection that is being treated. Once the infection is cleared up, and they get him off the other medicine, they plan to transfer him to the rehabilitation part of the hospital. We won't know the extent of any brain injury until he is off all the sedation. He does recognize his wife and others and moves all his limbs. While things are looking much better, until he is tested for mental responses, we are still holding our breath."

Officer Hopkins is married and has a young daughter.

See related stories:

Driver in hit-and-run released (Aug. 30)

DPS officer in coma following accident (Aug. 23)

Hit-and-run driver injures DPS cadet (Aug. 19)

Commenting has been disabled for this item.