Burglary suspect pepper-sprayed at jail after noncompliance

Jon Johnson File Photo: Burglary suspect Michael Neely was pepper-sprayed at the jail after not following detention officers’ commands.

Second time being pepper-sprayed at the jail in as many months

By Jon Johnson


SAFFORD – Michael Neely was arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on Aug. 10 for burglary in the third degree and theft. During intake, Neely refused to cooperate with detention officers’ commands to change into jail clothing and was pepper-sprayed and then placed in a jail restraint chair. 

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Michael Neely

Neely was arrested after witnesses reported seeing him enter a truck parked outside of Ace Hardware at 707 S. 6th Ave. and take a set of keys. Neely was located at about 7:30 a.m. in the area of 8th Street and 8th Avenue and was taken into custody. When apprehended, he was also carrying a Dremel tool and didn’t have an explanation of why or where it came from. 

After the incident at the jail, the officer completed booking him in on charges of burglary in the third degree and theft. 

Neely previously was pepper-sprayed by detention officers in July after being arrested for a domestic violence situation while on a stolen bicycle. In that instance, Neely again refused a detention officer’s commands and refused to return to his cell after leaving it without permission. After being pepper-sprayed, Neely was also tased and fought with detention officers, according to police reports.