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Tue, Oct. 22

Deputies arrest man after chase in Dewey-Humboldt

Bruce Burger, 46

Bruce Burger, 46

DEWEY-HUMBOLDT - Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies arrested an armed man Saturday afternoon after he allegedly threatened neighbors and led deputies on a chase, YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said.

Deputies responded at approximately 11 a.m. to a reported family fight in the 2800 block of Dana Street. Before reaching the location, the girlfriend of Bruce Burger, 46, warned deputies that the suspect was distraught and armed with a rifle inside the home.

Burger said several people had "wronged" him and threatened to "take them out," a press release from D'Evelyn said.

Burger lost his home in the 2600 block of North Sitting Bull through foreclosure two months ago, neighbor Brett Grugel told The Daily Courier.

The Courier independently confirmed Grugel's account by checking Yavapai County Assessor records online.

Grugel, a Sitting Bull resident for four years, said he returned from a soccer game at about 10:30 a.m., and noticed the suspect driving in a truck in the wash and hiding in the brush.

"He jumped out of the truck," Grugel said. "He was running in a crouched position. I think he saw the deputies were arriving."

Grugel said he called 911 to report Burger's actions.

Meanwhile, deputies took Burger's girlfriend to a safe area and set surveillance on the Dana Street home, the press release stated. While gathering information, a deputy saw Burger leave the home, place an object in a truck and drive away, according to D'Evelyn. A deputy followed Burger, who drove north and entered East Highway 169 from Foothill Drive.

Deputies lost sight of Burger as he turned onto Old Cherry Road, apparently trying to return to his previous neighborhood. Shortly afterward, they noticed him in his truck, and tried to stop him by turning on their overhead lights.

Burger refused to stop and sped into an area of heavy brush, the press release stated. Deputies checked the area on foot, and determined he had returned to Old Cherry Road.

Neighbors had contacted the YCSO after discovering Burger rammed his truck into a water tank and attached control panel on Grugel's property. They reported previous threats by Burger when he lived in the neighborhood.

"There is a long dispute over water" with Burger, Grugel said. "Our well ran out about three months ago."

Apparently referring to Grugel, the press release stated a witness told deputies he saw Burger point his rifle toward deputies searching the area. Deputies alerted the YCSO SWAT team.

Because of the expansive search area, deputies called the Ranger helicopter of the Arizona Department of Public Safety as well as ground units from DPS and Prescott National Forest. The helicopter crew eventually located Burger's truck as he drove, and occasionally stopped, along Old Cherry Road.

Burger surrendered at around 2 p.m. when deputies caught up with him on Cherry Creek Road. They recovered a rifle from his truck, and several rounds of ammo on his person and in his truck.

They booked him in the county jail in Camp Verde on suspicion of disorderly conduct per domestic violence, aggravated assault on law enforcement officers, fleeing pursuing law enforcement, threatening and criminal damage.

Burger remains in custody with bail set at $10,000, and is to appear Nov. 10 in Early Disposition Court, D'Evelyn said.

Burger also faces at least $10,200 in fines for alleged code enforcement violation, said Steven Mauk, county land-use manager.

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