A man was treated at the emergency room at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center on Saturday, March 3, after being struck by debris that flew out of a recreational fire.
By Jon Johnson
GRAHAM COUNTY – A Graham County man was treated and released from the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center on Saturday, March 3, after being struck by debris that flew out of a recreational fire.
According to Graham County Sheriff’s Office reports, the man was with several other people at a residence off W. Hickory Lane late Saturday night when the incident occurred. The victim and witnesses stated they were standing around the fire drinking beer when they heard a loud pop and the victim was struck in the leg by flying debris.
Witnesses at the scene and the victim believed the debris to be a glass fragment from beer bottles that were thrown into the fire. At the hospital, however, medical personnel believed the wound to resemble a gunshot and therefore called for the authorities to investigate.
An X-Ray of the victim’s right calf showed an approximate pea-sized object flat on one side and rounded on the other that had embedded in the muscle. The deputy believed the object to be in the shape of a bullet.
The victim and witnesses all denied any weapons or ammunition were in the area, however, and continued to advise the object to be some sort of glass shard or other debris. The victim was bandaged up at the hospital and was released.
Deputies responded to the residence and could not find any indication of a struggle or evidence that any bullet had been fired. They noted the fire was still smoldering Mesquite wood and did not have any type of containment ring.
The deputies scoured through the fire area and found a piece of copper pipe, numerous pieces of broken glass, a fingernail polish bottle and other household items and trash in the coals of the fire but did not locate any spent bullet casings.
The Sheriff’s Office then declared the incident to be accidental and closed the case.