Two drown in Wheatfields Lake

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

August 9, 2012

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W INDOW ROCK - Two Wheatfields, Ariz., men drowned early Saturday at Wheatfields Lake, according to Navajo and New Mexico State police.

The two were identified as Tyrone Chee, 27 and Zacharyn Chee, no age given.

They were with two other men - Ronald R. Freeland, 21 and Tyrell Chee, 27 - doing some night fishing at the lake about 1:30 a.m. The four were in a canoe that overturned about 150 feet from the shore.

People onshore heard yells when the canoe capsized and several youths from a church group attempted to reach the fishermen using boats and an air mattress, and by swimming.

Only Freeland and Tyrell Chee were able to make it to shore. The two said they tried to keep the victims from going under but finally had to give up and try to make it to the shore themselves.

Lt. Dempsey Harvey, with the Chinle Police District, immediately launched a search effort. Aided by the New Mexico State Police Dive Team, Chinle Fire and Rescue Squad, Chinle Police Dive Team, Navajo Nation EMS, community health representatives from Tsaile and Wheatfields, the Navajo Fish and Wildlife Department, McKinley County Fire Department, Apache County Sheriff's Posse, The Lukachukai Alert Team, Navajo Division of Public safety and officials from the chapter, police continued the search throughout Saturday and Sunday.

The two bodies were recovered by the New Mexico Dive Team about 7:19 p.m. Sunday.

Apache County Sheriff Joseph Dedman stressed "the importance of safe boating practices, especially the wearing of personal floatation devices."

"None of the men were wearing life jackets and there were none in the canoe," Dedman said.


Transport firm clarifies employee arrest

Officials at Home Care Solutions issued a statement Monday in connection with the arrest last week of one of their drivers, Nicole Salabye, for DWI.

"There was no Home Care Solution vehicle involved and we do not provide non-medical transportation services to the community," the statement read.

Rock Point man faces assault charges

A Rock Point, Ariz., man was charged with aggravated battery on July 21 after he allegedly attacked his sister and other members of his household.

Ernest Bainbridge, 32, was also charged with disorderly conduct, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal nuisance.

Police said when they first arrived at the residence, one of the victims, Ernestine Bainbridge, 39, of Rock Point, was not responding because she was having an asthma attack.

Witnesses said the suspect's sister had blocked the door to the bedroom where Ernest Bainbridge's common-law wife and children were located because she was afraid he would hurt them.

Police said Ernest Bainbridge physically attacked his sister, hitting her in the jaw and trying to gouge out one of her eyes before his parents were able to get Ernest Bainbridge to leave the house.

Once outside, according to police, Ernest Bainbridge used a mop wringer to shatter the windshield of Ernestine's vehicle. Ernest Bainbridge was later tracked down by police and arrested.

Ernestine Bainbridge was taken to the Chinle hospital and then transported to Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock for further care.

Alcohol involved in stabbing

Another confrontation between siblings happened in Kinlichee, Ariz., on July 31 when Arcinio Randall, 29, of Dilkon, Ariz., allegedly stabbed his brother, Shaun Patrick Randall, 28, of Kinlichee.

Robert Gorman told police that he was asleep in the Randall home when he heard a commotion down the hallway and went to investigate. He found Shaun Randall on the bedroom floor and asked the brothers what happened.

Gorman said Shaun told him that Arcinio had stabbed him.

Police said Shaun Randall had several stab wounds to the torso. He was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment. Police said both brothers were intoxicated at the time of the incident.

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