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Residents fire warning shot to stop Williamson Valley trespasser

Adam Kenneth Thomas

Adam Kenneth Thomas

WILLIAMSON VALLEY- A man who said he was jogging as he allegedly opened a gate to private property was arrested after assaulting two residents who confronted him, one of which fired a warning shot, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Adam Kenneth Thomas, 40, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of disorderly conduct, and two counts of trespassing on Thursday, Dec .3, according to YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn.

About 8 a.m., a 72-year-old woman called 911 to report a trespasser, and told a dispatcher that Thomas was running across her property in the 1500 block of West O'Neal Road, she was armed, and that her son, 45, was trying to stop Thomas, D'Evelyn said.

"When deputies arrived, they found the suspect being detained at gunpoint by the reporting party and her son," D'Evelyn said. "Both were obviously injured after an apparent altercation with the suspect."

Thomas claimed that he lived nearby and was "out jogging," D'Evelyn said, and "deputies could detect a strong odor of alcohol while speaking with Thomas."

He gave an address on Single Tree Street as his home. That's not far north from the incident.

The woman's son told deputies that he lives on Kelly Drive, adjacent to her O'Neal Road home, and that he saw Thomas on land between the two properties, D'Evelyn said. When he confronted Thomas, Thomas ignored him and opened a gate to the O'Neal Road property.

The son called his mother, told her to get a rifle, and call 911.

"At this point, according to the son, Thomas turned around and pushed through the gate, charging him," D'Evelyn said.

Thomas then headed onto the O'Neal Road property. The mother eventually joined her son, armed, with both of them intending to stop Thomas from leaving and causing further damage to a fence, D'Evelyn said.

"Thomas tried to leave and punched the 72-year-old resident and her son in the face," he said, and the son told deputies "he fired a warning shot from a revolver into the ground intending to convince Thomas to cooperate until deputies arrived."

All three suffered injuries, and the mother and Thomas were taken to the hospital.

Thomas was booked into the Camp Verde jail, but was released Friday morning, pending a review of the case by the Yavapai County Attorney's Office.


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