Drunk Drivers Mar Peaceful Rodeo Weekend

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Despite a rainy, rodeo-filled weekend, the streets and bars of Rim Country were relatively quiet.

“The rodeo is not nearly as rough and rowdy as it used to be,” said Gila County Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Scott. “It was pretty uneventful from what I could tell.”

Payson Police Chief Don Engler said they only had two rodeo-related arrests.

Shawn Hounshell, 27, and Robert Wilcox, 30, of Payson, were arrested on disorderly conduct charges at the Oxbow Saloon around 1:40 a.m. Sunday.

“They both had a little bit too much to drink and I think one made a comment about the others hat,” Engler said. “They were preparing to fight and the crowd was interfering and we were close, intervened and stopped it before it actually started.”

Law enforcement kept a high profile at the Oxbow, with four or five officers monitoring the area throughout Friday and Saturday nights, Engler said.

Besides one fight, officers arrested three adults on DUI charges.

One man, 56-year-old Rickie Nix Sr. of Ganado, was arrested for DUI after an officer spotted Nix traveling on Highway 87 in the wrong direction.

Another driver was arrested after crashing their car on Mud Springs and Granite Dells Road, and another was arrested for DUI in the 500 block of West Wade.

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