Former Candidate For Sheriff Arrested

Van Buskirk faces charges of domestic violence

“I guess this is what happens when you run for sheriff.”
Ray Van Buskirk Sheriff’s deputy

Photo by Andy Towle. |

“I guess this is what happens when you run for sheriff.” Ray Van Buskirk Sheriff’s deputy


A former candidate for Gila County sheriff faces domestic violence charges after allegedly striking his wife in front of his children last week.

Ray Van Buskirk, 40, told deputies he lost his cool when his kids started acting up, but never punched or hit his wife. He said he merely pushed her out of the room so he could be alone.

His wife claims Van Buskirk did much more than that, grabbing her by the hair, throwing her on the floor and hitting her in the back of the head after she threw a bowl of popcorn at him in their Globe home.

Van Buskirk’s children back up their mother’s claims, saying they saw him hit and yell at her. His daughter said she tried to defend her mother, but Van Buskirk pushed her out of the way.

Police arrested Van Buskirk Sept. 18 on charges of domestic violence, assault and disorderly conduct and booked him into the Globe jail.

Van Buskirk ran for Gila County sheriff, but lost to fellow Democrat Craig Jones in the August primary.

“I guess this is what happens when you run for sheriff,” Van Buskirk told deputies while riding to the station for booking, according to a police report.

The evening’s events

Van Buskirk told deputies he had gone to play a video game in the couple’s bedroom because his children had been acting up all night and he “finally had enough,” according to the report.

When his children allegedly started fighting again, this time in his bedroom, Van Buskirk told them both to leave and to take the bowl of popcorn with them.

This reportedly made his daughter cry.

When Van Buskirk’s wife saw her daughter crying, she grabbed the popcorn bowl and threw it at Van Buskirk, hitting him in the chest.

Van Buskirk told deputies he threw the bowl back at her and told her not to throw anything at him.

Accounts of what happened next vary.

Van Buskirk’s wife says he lost it and started hitting her in the back of the head. When their daughter came in to protect her, Van Buskirk pushed her to the floor.

Van Buskirk said while he did push his wife out of the room, he never punched or stuck anyone. If he had hit her, deputies would have clearly found bruises on her.

Initially deputies didn’t notice bruises on Van Buskirk’s wife and she refused medical attention. They also found nothing in the home indicating a struggle had occurred.

Although one deputy noted the home was cluttered with clothing and other stuff, “as if in a hoarder type of fashion, but there were no broken items or any other indications of a struggle or assault.”

With no clear evidence of a domestic assault and his wife refusing to file charges, deputies separated the pair and left for the night.

Later, Van Buskirk’s wife changed her mind.

She went to the hospital and complained of pain in her hand and hip where she said her husband had hit her.

A physician’s assistant later told a deputy that the children told her that “my daddy was punching my mommy and my sister stood up to him and they called 911.”

The assistant noted that Van Buskirk had bruising on her hand and hip and scratch marks on her back.

“Patient stated she is afraid her husband may harm her again worse than today if she files charges,” the assistant said.

Van Buskirk’s wife told deputies that he had verbally abused her since they met and was mean and abusive to their children.

The children told deputies that they were scared of their dad.

For his part, Van Buskirk denied hitting anyone.

“He is done with their marriage and this is probably just (wife’s name redacted) way of getting out of their marriage without blame,” Van Buskirk reportedly told a deputy.


Chastity Van Buskirk 4 years, 3 months ago

I would just like to say that this article is about 90 percent untrue & is a huge misrepresentation of the facts. This incident was blown way out of proportion & the only reason it is of any interest is because Ray ran for Sheriff. Therefore, the media has spruced it up to make it a good "story." I'm glad you got your story at the expense of others, including four innocent children.


Treasure Matheny 4 years, 3 months ago

I would just like to say how convenient this is for Susan K Gila1019's investigating reporter whom has obviously slummed to reporting as the well known National Enquirer reporters do. We all well know of the B.S. that spreads. For a reporter to abuse her power and bully as she chooses her personal likes and dislikes of people. Just for the record Susan K. My name is Treasure Matheny/a.k.a grandma and yes that is my REAL name. I would like the link taken off your non factual site of my 911call I find that to be so National Enquirer type reporting.


Susan Imperatrice 4 years, 3 months ago

KQSS has received a letter from a listener regarding our continued coverage of the situation in which Ray Van Buskirk was arrested for Domestic Violence. The author of the letter writes because Van Buskirk is no longer running for office, that our ongoing reports and keeping the story on our website is for entertainment and that it is viscous.

This is not the first time that Ray Van Buskirk has been horribly abusive to not only his wife but to members of the community. KQSS has learned that the Gila County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Van Buskirk home regarding the domestic assault, but did nothing at the time. It wasn’t until later, after Mrs. Van Buskirk was taken to hospital that Van Buskirk was arrested. This despite the fact that one of the 911 calls says that Van Buskirk was hitting his daughter.

Ray Van Buskirk’s hostile behavior has harmed many families, including children, who also could not afford and ad, but we spoke on their behalf.

Van Buskirk’s family claims that our reports are false and continue to demand that we remove the 911 calls from our website that prove our claims are indeed based on fact. People deserve to know the whole truth, not just what the Gila County Sheriff’s Office wants you to know.

Our reason for continuing to cover this situation after Van Buskirk is no longer running for office, is because it is symbolic of the ongoing problem of members of the Gila County Sheriff’s Office covering up for each other and their family and friends. This is not the only situation where this is and has been a problem, as was evident in the recent call from former Gila County Sheriff’s Office Commander Claudia Dalmolin saying she was tired of covering up for the mismanagement and fibs within the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

Dalmolin clearly thought twice about exposing the corruption, as she herself likely would be caught up in the repercussions of not only Sheriff’s Office Officials but her own misconduct.

KQSS will continue to report on corruption within the Gila County Sheriff’s Office until it stops which will likely require not voting candidate Adam Shepherd who has been directly related to that and other acts of misconduct that the Gila County Sheriff’s Office has become well known for. To learn more about this issue or to report your own issue call Susan K at 928-961-2700 or go to our website at


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