Forbidden love leads juvenile to jail

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – A midnight rendezvous between two teenagers forbidden to see each other led to a 16-year-old boy’s detention by juvenile probation. 

According to a Safford Police report, an officer saw a Can-Am UTV head into a no trespassing area off Discovery Park Boulevard at about 12:30 a.m. on Monday, June 10 and head south toward Clay Knolls. 

The officer moved to intercept the UTV near the entrance to the gas line road, but when the UTV appeared roughly 10 to 15 minutes later, it began to pull away from the officer, due to the rough terrain. 

The UTV pulled over into a residence in the 3500 block of South U.S. Highway 191, but the officer saw the move and initiated a traffic stop. 

Upon contact, the 16-year-old male driver said he didn’t realize he trespassed through a privately-owned area and said he also didn’t know who lived at the property he stopped and that he only did so because he noticed the officer following him. A 14-year-old female was in the passenger’s seat.

The officer soon learned that the driver had an active injunction prohibiting harassment from him with the passenger and her mother listed as the plaintiffs.

The driver said he knew about the order but that he “needed to talk to” the female tonight. The officer called the girl’s house and her mother and stepfather advised she had snuck out of the house and they didn’t even know she was gone. 

The driver also admitted that the UTV belonged to his father and that he didn’t know he had taken it. 

The owner of the UTV was contacted and confirmed the UTV as stolen. The owner later signed an affidavit electing to pursue charges against his son. 

The girl was returned to her residence, and the boy was transported to the Safford Police Department and turned over to a transport officer for Juvenile Detention and detention was authorized for the youth. Since the Eastern Arizona Regional Juvenile Detention Facility closed at the end of June 2018, juveniles have been transported to a facility in Pinal County to be housed.