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12:50 PM Thu, Oct. 18th

Man accused of beating family with shovel arrested: Former tenant who allegedly stole truck, dogs caught in W. Va.



Eric Stephen Tuttle, accused of beating a Seligman couple in their 70s and their 54-year-old daughter with a shovel before stealing their pickup truck and three dogs, was arrested in Wheeling, W. Va., Thursday afternoon, according to a Yavapai County Sheriff's spokesman.

Tuttle, 39, was wanted on assault and robbery charges, said spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn. He was staying on the victims' property in the Bridge Canyon Estates, but when the family asked him to leave he turned violent, D'Evelyn said.

On Tuesday at about 2 p.m., he reportedly assaulted a 54-year-old woman in a car, keeping her father from helping her by locking him out, D'Evelyn said.

When Tuttle got out, he allegedly attacked the man with a shovel, then turned on the woman with the shovel as well, D'Evelyn said.

Tuttle then allegedly moved the father and daughter, along with her 77-year-old mother, into a travel trailer, threatened to kill them and ordered them to sit together, D'Evelyn said. He had the daughter bind her parents' hands with duct tape, and then wrapped her hands.

He left in the family's white Dodge Ram pickup, taking the family's three dogs with him.

D'Evelyn said YCSO detectives had been getting tips about Tuttle's movements as he headed toward the East coast and relayed them to other law enforcement agencies.

On Wednesday, Tuttle was involved in a pursuit in Missouri as law enforcement spotted the stolen truck, but he got away.

The last tip led deputies from the Ohio County, W.Va., Sheriff's Office to a department store, where the deputies took Tuttle by surprise and arrested him, D'Evelyn said.

The Ohio County deputies recovered one of the family's dogs, but Tuttle claimed the other two were lost "somewhere in Arizona," D'Evelyn said.

Tuttle was booked in Ohio County on a YCSO warrant charging,

among other crimes, assault and auto theft. His bond was set at $100,000, and extradition procedures are pending.