Hoag arraignment postponed, DA’s office has yet to file complaint

LAUGHLIN, NEV.– The Clark County District Attorney’s office is not quite ready to proceed with its prosecution of a former Bullhead City police sergeant, accused of attempted sexual assault, but they aren’t dropping any of the charges against him.
Laughlin Justice of the Peace Tim Atkins granted a state motion to delay the arraignment of Jesse Hoag, 37, of Bullhead City, until next month. Hoag, who appeared in court today along with his attorney Robert Drascovick, was scheduled to enter a plea this morning, but the state was not ready.
“A complaint has not been filed in this case,” Deputy District Attorney Binu Palal told Judge Akins during today’s hearing. “Sometimes it takes us a while and this case is still in screening.”
After the hearing, Palal explained that the screening process includes the actual drafting of the complaint, which will be filed in court to formally press charges against a defendant. He said, the legal team is still drafting the complaint against Hoag. He said, it will be filed and ready for the court to act on when the case is heard again.
In light of the delay, Hoag’s attorney asked if the $20,000 bond that Hoag posted to remain free could be released. He pleaded that his client has appeared for his initial appearance and at a subsequent hearing, in addition today’s arraignment. Atkins denied the motion.
The judge rescheduled Hoag’s arraignment for Jan. 29.

Former BHCPD Sergeant to be arraigned in Laughlin tomorrow

LAUGHLIN, NEV. — The former Bullhead City police sergeant who recently plead not guilty to sexual assault charges in Arizona will be in a Nevada courtroom tomorrow to start his defense against attempted sexual assault charges in that state. Jesse Hoag, 37, of Bullhead City, will be arraigned in Laughlin Justice Court tomorrow morning.
Hoag is expected to plea not guilt to the felony charges filed against him by the Clark County District Attorney’s office. If Hoag does plead not guilty, Judge Tim Atkins will schedule a preliminary hearing, where the prosecution will try to convince the judge that enough evidence exists to send the case to trial in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas.
Hoag was arrested by Las Vegas Metro police in Laughlin on Oct. 22. That morning Metro was called out to a bar in the 2300 block of Casino Drive to a report of an attempted sexual assault. The victim told investigators that she managed to escape from Hoag after he allegedly tried to force her to have sex with him while inside his pick-up in the parking lot outside the bar. She claims to have offered to drive Hoag to a motel because he was intoxicated. He had reportedly consumed 10 beers that night after meeting the victim.
After getting out of Hoag’s pick-up, the victim went back into the bar and called a cab. The cab driver ended up calling Metro. Hoag left the scene before officers arrived. He would later contact investigators and surrendered himself at the Laughlin substation.
Hoag was released the following morning after posting bond.
The incident took place nearly three weeks after Hoag had been suspended from his position with the Bullhead City police department following a sexual assault allegation on the Arizona side of the Colorado River.

BHCPD Sergeant Resigns Before Being Interviewed for Internal Investigation

BULLHEAD CITY, ARIZ.– The police sergeant who faces criminal prosecution in both Arizona and Nevada on charges he sexual assaulted or attempted to sexual assault two different women has resigned from his position with the Bullhead City police department.
Sgt. Jesse Hoag tendered his resignation today. He had been scheduled to submit to an interview today regarding the ongoing internal investigation surrounding his recent arrests. The interview was cancelled as he is no longer an employee for the city of Bullhead City, however, the investigation will continue.
According to a news release issued this afternoon, the city will complete its internal investigation into Hoag’s actions with the information they currently have at their disposal. Investigators will forward their final report to the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board. It’s the board that certifies all police officers in Arizona. They have the authority to revoke that certification at any time.
Hoag, who also taught part-time at Mohave Community College, recently plead not guilt to two counts of sexual assault in connection with an incident Oct. 3 in Old Bullhead, involving one of his criminal justice students. Detectives with the Kingman police department handled the investigation into the incident and their findings were eventually forwarded to the Coconino County Attorney’s office. Deputies from Flagstaff are prosecuting the case as their counterparts in Mohave County have declared a conflict of interest because of their past dealings with Hoag as a police officer.
Hoag was arrested and placed on paid-administrative leave on the same day the police department learned of the alleged incident.
Two weeks after being released from custody, Hoag was arrested again– this time in Laughlin. Officers with Las Vegas Metro police arrested him after receiving a call from a woman who claimed Hoag attempted to sexually assault her in his vehicle. He had left the scene, but returned for an interview with Metro officers and that’s when he was taken into custody. He was charged with one count of attempted sexual assault.
The Clark County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case.

Public to hear review of January OIS in Laughlin

LAS VEGAS, NEV.– It was a Laughlin man back in January that became the first person to die at the hands of an officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 2014. 28-year old Zachary Andrews is believed to have just robbed a nearby convenience store and was trying to get away when he was confronted by Metro Officer Sam Solorio on the night of Jan. 31 near the intersection of James A. Bilbray Parkway and Needles Highway. According to internal reports from Metro, Andrews is believed to have pulled out a handgun when Solorio shot and killed him. That officer-involved-shooting will now be the subject of a special meeting on Monday in Las Vegas.
The Police Fatality Public Fact-finding Review, which is mandated by Nevada state law anytime a police-involved death occurs and the Clark County District Attorney’s Office preliminarily determines that no criminal prosecution of the officer or officers involved is appropriate, will be held at the Clark County Government Center in Las Vegas. The review, which replaced the former process known as a “coroner’s inquest,” is open to the public, and it will be held in the county commission chambers, starting at 9 a.m. The review will be aired live on Clark County Television (CCTV) and streamed over the county web site at www.ClarkCountyNV.gov.
Metro investigators suspect that Andrews had robbed the South Pointe Convenience store on two previous occasions when he walked into the store for a third time on the night he was shot. Recognizing who he was, the convenience store clerk quickly notified authorities and they were responding before Andrews left the area.
A week after the shooting, Metro Undersheriff Jim Dixon held a news conference to explain what transpired during the incident. It was apparent that the officers at the scene believed that Andrews was determined not to go to jail.
“Officer Solorio was continually being forced backwards by the armed suspect who was still moving toward him saying, quote, ‘I’m not going back. You’re going to have to kill me,’” said Dixon. Solorio was then backed up against an 11-foot block wall and could not retreat any further when Andrews continued to approach him. Solorio fired two rounds, both of which struck Andrews. Clark County Fire Department paramedics pronounced him deceased at the scene.
The purpose of Monday’s review will be to serve as a fact-finding vehicle for both the public and Andrews’ family. It will be presided over by Hearing Officer Ozzie Fumo. Karen Connolly will serve as ombudsman for the review. Both are longtime criminal defense attorneys from Las Vegas. Presiding officers and ombudsmen are selected by the county manager from lists approved by the Clark County Commission. The ombudsman represents the public and the deceased’s family in this fact-finding review.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Michelle Fleck will represent the District Attorney’s Office in this proceeding.
At the review, the representatives from the District Attorney’s Office present witnesses and make a presentation of the essential facts surrounding the police-involved death. After the prosecutors finish their presentation, the presiding officer and ombudsman may also ask questions.
The procedure for questioning witnesses is informal and intended to provide the public with relevant information about the use of force. Members of the public observing the review may submit proposed written questions to the presiding officer on forms available at the review. The presiding officer may ask the proposed questions, revise them or decline to ask them if he deems them “redundant, irrelevant or an abuse of the review process,” according to County ordinance. At the end of the review, no formal determination about the manner or cause of death is rendered.
CCTV (Clark County TV) will carry the entirety of the proceedings. It is available in the Laughlin Channel 14 via CMA Access and via the Internet at www.ClarkCountyNV.gov. A video recording of the review also will be available later for play on demand on the County website.

BHC experiencing a new housing mini-boom

BULLHEAD CITY, ARIZ– Don’t look now, but there are real signs that the economy is bouncing back for this city along Arizona’s west coast. Although the tourist industry of the Bullhead City/Laughlin area remains flat, new home construction is quietly rebounding. Although housing construction is nothing like what it was during the boom years of the mid-2000s, things are looking up.
During the 2013-14 fiscal year, which ended in June, the City of Bullhead City reported 58 new homes were built and occupied. That is almost four times as many new homes that were built in 2010, and the trend is not changing.
Since the start of the 2014-15 fiscal year (Jul. 1), construction on 45 new homes was started with 24 of them already completed. Nine others are awaiting final inspection and certificates of occupancy, while 12 others are in various stages of completion.
Most of the new construction is taking place in subdivisions along the Bullhead Parkway. The Laughlin Ranch neighborhood is seeing the most new construction with the North Fork subdivision seeing the most activity. The Unit 3 subdivision at Laughlin Ranch is also getting new houses. Other neighborhoods experiencing the growth are Fox Creek and Sunridge Estates.
City officials are confident the city will surpass last year’s numbers.
“Housing construction is a big part of our local economy, along with tourism and retail trades,” said city manager Toby Cotter at Tuesday’s Bullhead City Council meeting. “Housing construction is the backbone of our economy and has been for many years.”
The new construction may not mean much in terms of tax revenue for the city, but for the Bullhead City Elementary and Colorado River Union High School Districts, as well as Mohave Community College and the Bullhead City Fire Department, it will mean added revenues.
The new homes completed in the last fiscal year have an estimated property valuation of more than $14.3 million dollars. The 24 homes already completed this year add another $6.0 million in valuation with the remaining homes expected to add at least that much in the very near future.
The city does not collect any property tax so the added valuation is of no direct benefit to the city, but other taxing jurisdictions will be happy about the new housing construction.

MCSO Deputy Faces DV Charges

BULLHEAD CITY, ARIZ. — A Mohave County Sheriff’s Deputy has been charged with three misdemeanor charges in connection with a domestic dispute last month in Ft. Mohave. Deputy Steve Armstrong has been with the sheriff’s office since Jan. 2008. He has been on paid administrative leave since the incident on Nov. 21. Armstrong’s wife, Kimberly, and mother-in-law were also charged.
It was the mother-in-law, Janet Reed, who called Bullhead City police after Armstrong assaulted her. Although she lives in Fort Mohave, she called the Bullhead City Police Department because of her son-in-law’s status as a deputy with the sheriff’s office. Officers responded to Fort Mohave, separated the people involved and interviewed them.
After discovering that Armstrong was a deputy, the police department notified the sheriff’s office.
Yesterday, the sheriff’s office received the incident report from Bullhead City, which outlines the three misdemeanor charges that Armstrong will face as a result of the incident. There are two counts of domestic violence/disorderly conduct and one count of domestic violence/assault.
Mrs. Armstrong faces a single count of domestic violence/disorderly conduct.
Reed was also charged with domestic violence/disorderly conduct.
Deputy Armstrong will remain on paid administrative leave while waiting determination of an internal investigation.

Metro investigating armed robbery of Aldape’s

LAUGHLIN, NEV. — Authorities are on the lookout for the person who robbed the Aldape’s Marketplace in the Laughlin Town Center on Needles Highway early Monday morning.
Las Vegas Metro police were called to the supermarket at 4:26 a.m. The clerk that oversees Aldape’s gaming area told police that a masked man walked into the store, indicated he had a gun and demanded she give him all of the money in her drawer.
“At first she thought it was a joke,” said Lt. John Healy, commander of Metro’s Laughlin substation. “He quickly let her know it was for real.”
The clerk eventually complied with the demand and turned over an undisclosed amount of cash. The robber left the scene on foot.
Healy said, the robber never actually showed a weapon, but rather, simulated as though he had a gun under his sweatshirt.
Detectives are now looking for the suspect. Because he was wearing a mask, police do not know what he looked like. He was described as being between 5’10 and 6-feet tall.
Anyone who may have witnessed someone leaving Aldape’s Marketplace with a mask on or knows of someone who showed up with some unexpected cash, is asked to call Metro at (702)298-2223.

RIVER VALLEY WINS!

River Valley Dust Devils hoist the Arizona State Championship trophy after Saturday's win over Snowflake.

PHOENIX, ARIZ. — The River Valley Dust Devils came back to this city with one thing on their mind and that was to go back home as the Arizona Div. IV state football champions. After an emotional rollercoaster of a game, the Dust Devils finished the business they couldn’t one year ago—defeating the Lobos of Snowflake, 28-21.

Senior running back Brandon Long—the one-man wrecking crew of defenses throughout Arizona—scored the winning touchdown with 1:31 left in the game.

“I just knew I wasn’t going down,” said Long after the game. “I saw the end zone and I wasn’t going to let them get me down.”
Long rumbled 28 yards for the score and Brady Viles added the PAT, giving River Valley the seven-point lead, 28-21. The defense did the rest, ending Snowflake’s hopes on a 4th down play that saw the Lobo’s last pass fall into the hands of a Dust Devil defender. Viles, who played the entire game—offense as quarterback and defense as the Dust Devils’ safety, as he always does, kneeled down twice to end the game.

Pandemonium broke out as the clock ran out—River Valley, who fell short in last year’s championship game—losing to Blue Ridge, wouldn’t be denied this go-around.
Win they did, but it wasn’t easy.

Defense ruled the first half. After a scoreless first quarter, River Valley struck first, but it was defensive play that set up the offense. Less than two minutes into the second quarter, Dust Devil junior cornerback Brent Vegas recovered a Snowflake fumble at the Lobos’ 22-yard line. Five plays later, Long pushed the ball into the end zone on a 3yd run.

Snowflake moved the ball down the field on the ensuing drive, but the Dust Devil defense made a stand when it counted the most. The Lobos had a first and goal at the 2-yard line. Their first play went for a three-yard loss. Two plays and one yard, later, Snowflake went for it on 4th and goal from the four. Stealing a defensive play reminiscent of Friday’s Arizona Wildcat goal-line stand against Arizona State, junior linebacker Jacob Lee stopped the Lobos’ quarterback at the two. Turnover on downs. First and ten Dust Devils.

River Valley would move the ball to the 25yd line only to have their drive stall. On 4th down, Viles was back to punt when the center hiked the ball over his head. He went down, giving Snowflake a first and goal on the Dust Devil 10. With less than a minute left in the half, the Lobos tied the game on a 7-yard TD pass. The Halftime 7-7 score would stand pat until the 4th quarter.

The last quarter started off electrifying for the Dust Devils. Less than a minute into the 4th quarter, Viles, who hadn’t been getting much time to throw the ball, hit a streaking Andres Galvez over the middle on a third down play. Galvez proceeded to scamper 82 yards for a touchdown. 14-7 River Valley at this point.
Three minutes later, after stopping a fake punt on 4th down from the Lobos 20-yard line, Viles threw a 20-yard score to David Sanchez, giving River Valley some breathing room. Dust Devils led 21-7 with 9:27 left in the game.

Snowflake was not about to surrender.

The Lobos mounted a comeback that swung the momentum back onto their side and parlayed it back to a tie game. After Snowflake’s Trevor McCray scored on a 3-yard touchdown run, the Lobos recovered a very unique onside kick and marched back down the field for a second score in less than two minutes when Travis Flake caught a 27-yd TD pass.

It was all tied 21-21 with 4:25 left in the game.
River Valley kept their focus and worked their way down to the Lobo 28 yard line. From there, Long saw the end zone and that was all that was needed.

“It was a great play,” Long said.

After the game, River Valley was given their State Championship trophy as family and friends flooded the football field, anxious to celebrate.

Fire Destroys GV Home, Elderly Man Saved

A fire Sunday night in the Walnut Creek neighborhood of Golden Valley leaves five people without a home.

GOLDEN VALLEY, ARIZ.– Firefighters managed to save an elderly man from a burning fire Sunday night, but they couldn’t save his home. The first firefighting unit from the Golden Valley Fire Department arrived at the burning home at around 9:30 p.m. in the Walnut Creek neighborhood and found the elderly man, who was unable to walk, still inside.
The homeowners were also inside trying to help their friend. Thankfully, everyone made it out safely.
The everyone was home at the time of the fire. They were nestled inside when they were notified of the fire by a neighbor who told them their roof was on fire.
Firefighters worked feverishly to extinguish the well-involved attic fire, but were forced to exit the home and fight it from the outside because the roof had begun to collapse into the home.
Fire Chief Tom O’Donohue called the Kingman Fire Department to provide mutual-aid and the Red Cross was called to assist the homeowners, in total five residents, who lost everything in the fire. The Fire Marshal was on scene until approximately 2:00 am to determine the cause of the blaze.
The incident remains under investigation.

DUI suspected in head-on collision on Hwy 95

The driver of this Range Rover is suspected of being DUI when it collided head-on with a utility truck Monday night on Highway 95 in Bullhead City.

BULLHEAD CITY, ARIZ. — No one was seriously injured in a head-on collision tonight on Highway 95, in front of the Foam and Froth Car Wash. Bullhead City police officers at the scene of the accident said, it could have been much worse as they believe one of the drivers may have been under the influence of alcohol.
The accident was reported to Bullhead City police dispatchers shortly before 7:30 (MST). Only minutes earlier, motorists reported seeing a black Range Rover swerving all over the highway, and an attempt-to-locate bulletin was issued by dispatchers. Eyewitnesses to the accident say that the southbound Range Rover was travelling in excess of 45 miles an hour when it cross the center lane into northbound traffic. Oncoming motorists reportedly slowed and swerved to miss the wayward driver, however, the driver of a heavy duty utility truck, owned by River Valley Air Conditioning, could not move out of the way fast enough.
The collision took place in the northbound lanes with both vehicle sustaining extensive damage.

This River Valley Air Conditioning utility truck was northbound on Highway 95 Monday night when it slammed head-on into a Range Rover that cross the center lane. The driver was not seriously injured.

Police believe the deployment of airbags in both vehicles, along with the fact that both drivers were wearing their seatbelts as required by Arizona state law, contributed to their survival. The drivers were the only occupants inside their respective vehicles and they didn’t sustain any major injuries.
The driver of the Range Rover was detained and transported to the police station for a breathalyzer test.
Charges are pending the results of that test.