Woman Arrested For Assault After 2-Hour Standoff

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A 38-year-old Payson woman was arrested after a two-hour standoff with police Tuesday afternoon for numerous crimes she allegedly committed the day before in Pine.

Letta Steward, 38, was arrested for burglary, theft, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence and resisting arrest.

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Payson police officers waited for two hours outside the home of a woman on Saddle Lane who was hiding in her attic.

Lt. Tim Scott of the Gila County Sheriff's Office, said Steward was involved in an incident on Monday when she broke into Jacob Blaauw's home, stole his wallet and hit him with a shovel.

Scott said Steward later called Blaauw to tell him she wanted to return the wallet and offered to meet him at a certain location.

GCSO Lt. Adam Shepherd said Blaauw, 46, and Steward were dating.

Blaauw called GCSO and said he did not want to meet her because of the prior assault.

Scott said GCSO deputies were at the location, but Steward never showed up. Officers, however, were able to get a description of the car she was driving.

The Payson Police Department located the vehicle and talked to the driver, who said she had dropped her aunt off at a home in the 200 block of West Saddle Lane.

When officers from the Payson Police Department arrived at the home, Steward answered the door. When she saw it was the police, she slammed the door shut.

GCSO deputies, Scott said, received permission from the homeowner to come in to search the residence for Steward.

She was found hiding in the attic, and the arrest was made at 4:40 p.m., said Payson Police Commander Don Engler.

Engler said the police agencies were at the residence for about two hours before entering the home.

"What we were trying to determine was if there were additional suspects (in the home)," he said.

-- To reach Michael Maresh call 474-5251 ext. 112 or e-mail mmaresh@payson.com.

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