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Ash Fork couple charged with attempted homicide, assault with baseball bat

Stephen Garcia, 31, and Darlene Clapperton, 24, were arrested in connection with a fight in Ash Fork Feb. 16.  (YCSO photo)

Stephen Garcia, 31, and Darlene Clapperton, 24, were arrested in connection with a fight in Ash Fork Feb. 16. (YCSO photo)

Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputies have booked two suspects into the Yavapai County jail, one of whom is charged with attempted homicide among other charges, according to Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) spokesperson Dwight D’Evelyn.

Deputies were dispatched to a report of several people fighting at 6:15 p.m. Feb. 16, on Fourth Street in Ash Fork, and were told one person had been hit in the head with a baseball bat, D’Evelyn said. Another caller reported hearing a gunshot that was later determined to be the sound of the baseball bat as it struck the victim’s head.

Two suspects — Stephen Garcia, 31, and Darlene Clapperton, 24 — were eventually identified and initial information indicated Garcia engaged in a verbal argument with a woman outside the Oasis Bar on Park Avenue and threatened to assault her. The victim called out for help and her boyfriend and his friend approached to intervene, the YCSO reported Saturday.

Garcia went home and returned with the baseball bat and his girlfriend, Clapperton. He allegedly hit the woman’s boyfriend in the head and knocked him unconscious, D’Evelyn said. Another man was bitten in the face by Garcia when he attempted to take the bat away.

The victim was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center in critical condition and remained in a medically induced coma Feb. 17, following extensive surgery.

Garcia was found hiding in a convenience store bathroom and Clapperton was arrested at her house on Fourth Street. Deputies had to restrain Garcia’s legs while being arrested, D’Evelyn said, adding that Garcia spit on deputies and kicked one trying to control his legs.

Garcia and Clapperton were booked into the Yavapai County jail with no bond set. Garcia’s charges include attempted homicide, aggravated assault causing serious and substantial disfigurement or fracture of any body part, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and assault — two victims, and criminal damage.

Clapperton’s charges include assault and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

The cause of the original confrontation has not yet been disclosed.

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