Yesterday evening, February 16, 2018, around 6:15 PM, YCSO deputies were dispatched to a report of several persons fighting on 4th Street in Ash Fork. Deputies were told that one subject had been hit in the head with a baseball bat. Another caller reported hearing a gunshot then seeing a male lying in the road with a head injury. It was later determined that the aluminum baseball bat used to strike the victim’s head was the cause for the noise someone believed was a gun shot.
2 suspects were eventually identified - 31-year-old Stephen Garcia and 24-year-old Darlene Clapperton. Initial information indicated Garcia got into a verbal argument with a female standing outside the Oasis Bar on Park Avenue and threatened to assault her. When she called out for help, her boyfriend and his friend came out of the bar and approached Garcia to intervene. Garcia walked back to his nearby residence and returned with a baseball bat. Suspect Clapperton, Garcia’s girlfriend, followed and confronted the female Garcia had been arguing with. Garcia approached the female’s boyfriend and hit him in the head with the baseball bat, knocking him unconscious. Another man, who attempted take the bat away from Garcia, was bitten in the face by Garcia. The bat was eventually taken away by a male who headed for Garcia’s house with Garcia.
When deputies checked Garcia’s house, he was gone. The 50-year-old victim, who had been struck in the head with the baseball bat, was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center in critical condition. As of late morning he remains in a medically induced coma following extensive surgery.
Garcia was eventually located hiding in a local convenience store bathroom and brought back to the scene. Clapperton was arrested when she returned to her house on 4th Street. Both were uncooperative throughout the investigation. While in the back of a patrol vehicle, Garcia would scream and continuously kick the doors of the vehicle until deputies restrained his legs. During this procedure, Garcia spit on deputies and kicked one deputy in particular who was trying to control his legs. Clapperton also attempted to kick open the doors of a patrol vehicle she was being held in resulting in deputies retraining her legs while being spit upon.
Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Bureau were called to assist deputies with the investigation including numerous witness interviews and evidence gathering.
Garcia and Clapperton were booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center. Bond has not been set.
Garcia’s charges include:
Attempted Homicide, Aggravated Assault causing serious and substantial disfigurement or fracture of any body part, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Assault on Law Enforcement Officer, Assault – 2 victims, and Criminal Damage.
Clapperton’s charges include:
Assault and Aggravated Assault on Law Enforcement Officer.
Victim’s identities will be released in a follow-up media notice. The cause of the original confrontation has not been disclosed as of this writing.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov