By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Derrick Raymond Austin, 18, was reportedly flown to a Tucson hospital for medical treatment after being involved in a fight early Wednesday morning.
Austin, who was intoxicated according to a Safford Police report, is also facing possible charges of underage alcohol consumption, disorderly conduct, and assault, pending a review by the Safford City Attorney.
Officers were sent to an address on Bonita St. at about 1:02 a.m. after a neighbor reported a fight and that his fence had been broken by revelers at a party next door. Upon arrival, officers located the neighbor, who had a holstered gun in his hand.
The neighbor said he heard screaming and yelling and had gone outside armed because he wasn’t sure what was going on. At the next door residence, a man could be seen lying on the ground with other people standing over him.
According to party goers, the man on the ground, Austin, was intoxicated and had gotten into a verbal argument with two brothers. When a female attempted to separate the two parties, Austin allegedly grabbed her and shoved her to the ground, causing her to strike her head. The victim and other party attendees corroborated that version of events.
The female’s juvenile boyfriend then reportedly came to her defense and body slammed Austin and fought him, causing Austin’s left eye to become completely swollen shut, along with bleeding from his left eye, mouth, and nose. Austin was noticeably intoxicated and was complaining that he had been “jumped” by three or four individuals at the party. However, the other party goers insisted the injuries were solely caused by the fight with the single juvenile.
Austin declined medical attention from paramedics from Lifeline Ambulance at the scene and was instead driven by his mother to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center. An officer attempted to interview Austin at the hospital, but he was unconscious when the officer arrived and medical staff informed him that Austin would be flown out to a Tucson hospital for further treatment.
Back at the party, Austin Hanson was given a citation for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and released. Underage drinkers at the party, including Tyler Ledford, Jesenia Hernandez, Emily Munoz, Nicholas Aranda, and Aaliyah Armijo, were issued citations for underage alcohol consumption and released. Two juveniles, including the one who was involved in the altercation, were referred to the Graham County Juvenile Probation for underage alcohol consumption and were released as well.