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Gila County Sheriff rescued two men and recovered a third from a plane crash in the Mazatzal Mountains on Friday, Jan. 24.

On New Year’s Eve a man in a side-by-side all-terrain vehicle fleeing officers smashed into a Gila County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) canine patrol car, rolled his ATV and wound up in jail for aggravated DUI and assault on an officer, according to arrest records.

Shelby Lee Burback, 36, fled when officers tried to pull him over for erratic driving on Moonlight Drive in Star Valley on Dec. 31 around 7:20 p.m. said Sgt. Matthew Binney.

Burback went down Childress Drive to evade officers, made a U-turn, then sped up to get around the canine patrol car. In the process, the ATV hit a small tree, Burback lost control and then hit the canine officer’s vehicle. Burback then drove for another mile and a half before the ATV came to rest on its side, said Binney.

Burback was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he was treated and released. GCSO officers immediately arrested and jailed him, said Binney.

The canine officer’s car was damaged, but drivable, said Binney.

“The hit busted out the back window of the officer’s vehicle and tore up a back panel,” he said.

The dog suffered scratches from the flying glass, but is now “home recuperating,” said Binney. The officer also received minor injuries.

A records check indicated Burback should have had an interlock device on his vehicle, presumably as a result of a previous DUI conviction, but did not, reported Binney. “We suspect he was drunk, but do not have the test results back,” he said.

For the sheriff’s office, this was the only DUI arrest on New Year’s Eve.

Binney reported Payson Police and the Department of Public Safety were booking two suspects when the deputies brought in Burback.

Court records show Burback has faced criminal charges repeatedly in Maricopa and Gila counties dating back to 2006. He was convicted of aggravated assault and resisting arrest in Phoenix in 2006.

Burback accepted a plea bargain on charges of aggravated DUI resulting in lesser charges in Gila County in 2007.

Since then, the court records show a succession of civil cases, but no further arrests in Gila County.

Contact the reporter at mnelson@payson.com

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