Man attacked with piece of firewood

WINDOW ROCK, November 8, 2012

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W INDOW ROCK — Navajo police in Crownpoint received the call on Oct. 31 that a Navajo man had been beat up and his eye was hanging out of its socket.

When police arrived at the scene in Prewitt, they found Walter Brown Vandever, 49, of Prewitt with a swollen eye and a laceration at the top of his head. He told police that he had been hit on the top of the head with a piece of firewood.

He named Leonardo Edsitty, 34, of Haystack as his attacker. Police could not find him at the location.


High-speed pursuit ends in the arrest of Blue Gap man

A high-speed vehicle pursuit occurred on Nov. 7 when Navajo police aided Arizona law enforcement officers in trying to stop a vehicle driven by Reginald Ray Joe, 36, of Blue Gap, Ariz.

The chase had begun in Holbrook when police tried to stop the vehicle after it was reported that the driver was wanted for hit and run. The Navajo police got involved in the pursuit when the driver crossed the Navajo Reservation border on State Road 77.

The word was that the driver was possibly intoxicated and was swerving all over the road. At one point during the chase, the vehicle almost went head on with another. As the vehicle continued heading toward Greasewood, Navajo police put a spike strip on the road. This slowed down the driver, who incurred a flat, but did not stop him.

Police were finally able to stop the vehicle about five miles south of the Greasewood Trading Post when it went onto Bottom Road and got stuck in the sand.

Joe was charged with unlawful flight, reckless driving, DWI and having no valid driver's license.


Sawmill man sought in beating

Navajo police were trying to locate Albert Muskett Jr., 49, of Sawmill in connection with in aggravated battery that occurred on Nov. 3 in the Sawmill area.

Loretta Wauneka told police that Muskett had come to her residence and complained that her dogs had killed some goats that were inside his sheep pen. Wauneka said Muskett came armed with a metal baseball bat which he used on Jasper Tsosie, 62, and Freddy Wauneka, both of Sawmill. Both were taken to the hospital for lacerations to the head and blunt force trauma to the body. Freddy Wauneka was treated and released while Tsosie was admitted overnight to the hospital for observation.


Stabbing is reported in Rock Point

Another aggravated battery occurred in the Rock Point area on Nov. 7 with the report of a stabbing 2.5 miles north of the Rock Point store.

The victim, identified as Wyres Moon, 24, of Teec Nos Pos, received a wound to his upper left chest area and was transported to the San Juan Medical Center for treatment.

Arrested in connection with the incident was Myron Kady, 41, of Rock Point.


Special patrol ends up with marijuana bust

Navajo police, along with members of the Navajo Gang and Drug Unit as well as K-9 officers, conducted a special traffic patrol on Nov. 8 along I-40 to detect drug traffickers.

The day resulted in two major arrests.

The first had to do with a car driven by Jerry Baliton of San Jose, Calif., who was stopped for a routine traffic violation.

When police interviewed him, however, he appeared to be nervous and said he was on his way to meet family members in Gallup but didn't know where they were going to meet.

When the driver gave permission to search the vehicle, they found a package gift-wrapped that gave out an odor of marijuana. When it was opened they discovered 10 mason jars filled with high-grade marijuana.

The total weight of the marijuana was 15 pounds.

Thirty minutes later, another vehicle was stopped, this one driven by James Wesley of Round Rock, Texas.

He said he was on a vacation with his wife, who was also in the vehicle. There was an odor of marijuana in the vehicle and when police asked for permission to search, Wesley said yes but then began gasping and shaking before admitting that there was a large amount of marijuana in the car.

Police found two duffel bags in the trunk and another in the rear seat containing 115 pounds of high-grade marijuana.

The drivers and passengers in both vehicles were turned over to the Apache County Sheriff's Office for arrest.



Tuba City man injured in fight

Navajo police in Tuba City received a call on Nov. 6 about a man who had been injured in the chest and legs. When they arrived, they found Kendall Nez, 24, of Tuba City with several injuries and transported him to the Tuba City hospital.

Police were told that the suspect, Teric Yazzie, 21, of Gap was no longer in the area but later the suspect's family showed up and told police where they could find him.

When police arrived at the location, they found the suspect's car and Yazzie standing in front of it waving a knife and drinking beer. He then pulled out a gun, before putting it down and being arrested.


Ganado man stabbed near Burnside

Another aggravated battery (stabbing) occurred in Burnside near Ganado on Oct. 24.

In this case, Kenneth Nez Jr., 46, of Ganado was taken to the Sage Memorial Hospital with minor stab wounds to the face and forearm.

He told police that he got into an argument with Leland Lewis, 29, of Ganado for "some unknown reason" and that argument turned into a physical confrontation during which he was stabbed.

He told police that he wasn't aware he had been stabbed until people took Lewis off of him. Lewis was later found at his mother's residence and arrested.


Shiprock man pleads guilty to assault

Lancelot Lapahie, 25, of Shiprock entered a guilty plea to assault and firearms charges in federal court last week in Albuquerque.

According to the plea agreement, during the late hours of March 23 and early hours of March 24, Lapahie was drinking alcohol with several individuals when an argument broke out.

Lapahie admitted striking one individual with a baseball bat and using a machete repeatedly to strike another individual about his head, arms and body. 

The victim of the machete attack suffered multiple stab wounds and cuts to his head, face, forearm, leg and back. During the investigation of these crimes, officers found an unregistered shotgun in Lapahie's residence. Lapahie admitted possession of the unregistered shotgun.

At his sentencing, Lapahie faces a maximum penalty of ten years of imprisonment. .


Two men sentenced to prison

Ronald Yazzie, 36, of Tohatchi was sentenced by a federal judge in Santa Fe, to 51 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release for his assault conviction.  

Yazzie's codefendant, Frederick Jimmie, 22, of Crownpoint, was sentenced the day before to 41 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Yazzie also was ordered jointly and severally to pay $20,755.38 in restitution to cover the medical costs of the victim.

Yazzie and Jimmie were charged with assaulting a Navajo man on Feb. 2, 2011, in Crownpoint. Both men were arrested on Sept. 22, and have been in federal custody since that time.

In entering his guilty plea, Jimmie admitted that, on Feb. 2, 2011, he and Yazzie assaulted the victim by punching and kicking him in the face. Jimmie also admitted that he later stabbed the victim in the chest and arms. 

During his plea hearing, Yazzie admitted assaulting the victim by punching and kicking the victim in the face and driving his vehicle over the victim's leg. 

Yazzie also acknowledged driving Jimmie to the place where Jimmie stabbed the victim. The victim suffered several deep stab wounds, a broken fibula and ankle, broken orbital walls and a broken nose as a result of the assault.

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