Man tased while resisting drug arrest

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

Bicycling duo were suspects in Walmart shoplifting case

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – A suspect in a Walmart shoplifting case was tased April 5 after allegedly attempting to flee after fentanyl pills were found in his possession.

According to a Safford Police report, Edward Meno was arrested for possession of a dangerous drug, possession of a narcotic drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting arrest. Meno was injured during the arrest, however, and was released to the care of the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center after suffering “minimal bleeding inside of his head,” according to the report.

An officer on patrol on U.S. Highway 70 spotted Meno and a second subject identified as Delilah Cruz riding bicycles at about 1:13 p.m. The subjects matched the description of two suspects from a Walmart shoplifting incident.

The officer contacted Meno and Cruz and found a piece of drug paraphernalia in Cruz’s possession. At that time, she allegedly admitted using the paraphernalia to ingest heroin earlier in the day. Cruz was also found to have an active warrant for her arrest.

When Meno was searched, the officer located six, blue pills marked “M30” that are believed to be counterfeit fentanyl pills, which can be 50 times more potent than heroin.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Delilah Cruz was booked into jail on her warrant.

When the officer attempted to place Meno under arrest, the suspect ran toward Highway 70, which reportedly had heavy traffic flow at the time. Not knowing if Meno was going to attempt to cross the highway or retrieve his bicycle, the officer decided to utilize his TASER and incapacitate Meno, who fell on the sidewalk in front of the Safford Inn next to the highway.

When Meno was tased, he hit his head and suffered a cut that required a couple of stitches. During interrogation prior to being transported to the hospital, Meno allegedly advised he was transporting the fentanyl pills for a payment of $5 so he could purchase food for the night.

In addition to the fentanyl pills, the officer also located a piece of aluminum foil Meno allegedly dropped that contained shards of crystal methamphetamine.

Cruz was booked into jail on her warrant, however, Meno was released at MGRMC after hospital employees stated they were going to hold him for four to six hours before conducting a second CT scan. The officer informed Meno that his case was going to be forwarded to the Graham County Attorney’s Office for review and charging and that he would have to show up for court or a warrant for his arrest would be issued. The bicycles were turned over to Cruz’s sister, who arrived at the scene to retrieve them.

Meno was reportedly apologetic about running and said he had made a bad decision and would not attempt to avoid adjudication.