There were no fatal accidents over the Labor Day weekend in Rim Country, but there were several traffic calls that kept officers busy, including a person reportedly on a joyride shooting into the woods and a woman with two aggressive dogs.
On Saturday, about 5 p.m. officers were called to milepost 245 on northbound State Route 87 for reports of a vehicle that had rolled into traffic. A woman driving with her two dogs had reportedly pulled over when she started having engine troubles and the vehicle rolled backward, crossing into the travel lanes.
A passing northbound vehicle struck the woman’s car.
As crews worked to clean up the scene and route traffic around the incident, officers had a hard time keeping the woman’s two dogs under control, said Sgt. Cole LaBonte with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.
At some point, one dog bit a state trooper. The officer shot the dog and it ran off into the woods.
Animal control rounded up the other dog.
The GCSO arrested the woman, Emily Doran, on multiple charges including five counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, escape, criminal damage, failure to obey officers, resisting arrest and aggravated DUI while suspended for DUI.
The following day, DPS was called out to 87 for reports of a dog in the roadway. They found the dog that the trooper had shot had been hit fatally by a vehicle.
This wasn’t the only call that warranted a multi-agency response.
On Sunday night, around midnight, a person in a vehicle driving northbound on 87 reportedly shot into the desert north of Fountain Hills.
A witness reported the incident, and GCSO was notified to look out for the vehicle.
GCSO sent deputies south to look for the vehicle and located it on the road leading up to Mt. Ord.
There were reportedly several family members in the vehicle. They complied with the officer’s commands. They learned one person in the vehicle had fired their weapon on the “joy ride.”
LaBonte said beyond these two major calls, the weekend was relatively mellow.
“The roads were so busy, but as far as we could tell, people were behaving themselves.”
The Payson Police Department reported issuing 45 traffic citations between Friday and Monday on State Routes 87 and 260.
“Most were either speeding or traffic light violations (running red lights),” said Police Chief Ron Tischer.