Salt River Partier Helps Underage Drinker Escape Lawmen -- Ends Up Pepperballed, Tased and Arrested

Categories: Lake Patrol
donaldson christopher suspect.JPG
Image: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Christopher Donaldson, 26, led police on a human safari at the Salt River on Saturday after preventing a deputy from arresting a young woman.

An act of criminal chivalry on Saturday resulted in a deputy getting accidentally tased and in a riverboat chase that sounds more like a human safari.

The mayhem began at about 3:40 p.m. near the mud cliffs on the lower Salt River, when Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy C. Bradshaw attempted to arrest a young woman for suspected underage drinking.

Walking next to his horse and escorting the girl, the mountie suddenly found his path blocked by 26-year-old Christopher Donaldson, who tried to talk to the girl. Bradshaw told him to leave. But Donaldson apparently figured he was the one who should be giving orders and demanded that the deputy move his horse. Bradshaw claims Donaldson pushed on the horse's neck, causing it to turn.

The girl broke free from Bradshaw and jumped into the river, shielded by Donaldson.



The suspect then cast himself into the river and floated downstream as Bradshaw called for backup. The deputy pointed out Donaldson to other law officers on the riverbank, and they called to Donaldson, asking him to surrender. The man kept floating.

Moments later, more deputies arrived in an airboat. Donaldson hid in some bushes on the river's north side as the deputies shouted orders to him. Losing patience, the deputies fired a pepperball gun at Donaldson. He swam to the middle of the river, presumably making it harder for the deputies to hit him with pepperballs.

Deputies eventually managed to haul Donaldson out of the water and into the boat in what must have resembled a scene from TV's Swamp Wars.

Like a freshly caught marlin, Donaldson continued to writhe and struggle once in the boat, court records state. One deputy pulled out his Taser gun and fired it at the suspect -- but one of the probes hit another deputy, shocking both of the targets.

Following his arrest, Donaldson told deputies that he'd never met the girl before and regretted his action. Cops want him prosecuted for animal cruelty (for pushing the horse), escape and resisting arrest.

Deputies apparently never found the girl. 
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48 comments
Jack
Jack

The girls was found and booked for escape and resisting arrest.

guest
guest

Poor chris! I've know him since kids and he's a great guy who came from an amazing family! He grew up in payson where there is nothing but horses, cows and every kind of ranch animals you can think of! This is absolutely absurd! I was not there but I do know he would never disrespect an officer or agree to what people are saying on here about them! He is a great person and to the reporter ray sturn, gossip and faulse information can hurt others! So ray please help chris get his charges dropped and call mericopa sheriffs office or write that there are concerned people on your blog! Thanks

Tracv73321
Tracv73321

This story in entirely not true. I know Christopher as a personal friend and have heard his story. These Sheriffs acted out of character. The girl was actually arrested because Christopher saw her in the jail after being arrested. Chris was only trying to help a girl he does not know but that is entirely in his character unlike the officers. Chris was sent to the hospital after this attack to ensure that his jaw was not broken... tell me a broken jaw is appropriate for animal cruelty. I hope more come forward and tell the truth about this story and I hope these officers get what is coming for them. You can not treat people like this because you wear a badge and sit on your horse. Chris was told to leave by the officer as the same officer was swinging his baton at Chris's face... tell me you would not run! Chris then ran and the police proceeded to chase him...after telling him to run. Chris stood there with arms in the air holding his hat, asking what he had done and the officers were still shooting him ordering him to get into the boat. Chris followed the orders and the officers proceeded to beat him. Chris was in handcuffs and while driving away the officer driving still attempted to tase him. Chris is a great person and deserved none of this. 

Shredex
Shredex

only 3 of every 10 law enforcement officers effectively perform the job description...the remaining 7 are self serving social waste, establishing sua sponte what our rights will be in the instance.

Royalphoenix2
Royalphoenix2

I have seen cops on horses in downtown Tempe get very aggressive on their horses. I guess riding bicycles would be to much work for the deputys. peace

Aaron Sanchez
Aaron Sanchez

I like the part where the cops tazered themselves. Bwa hahaha!

John Darling
John Darling

Animal cruelty?!! WTF?  Its a goddam horse! All he did was push its neck.  For crying out loud, get real.  I bet money that horse is fine.

Lily Rice
Lily Rice

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Pete
Pete

Ray awesome post! 

bigriggs
bigriggs

Dumb punk. Hope those pepperballs felt good.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Animal cruelty? Now that one is going to be a stretch. How about interference instead?

I will assume Mr. Donaldson was being driven by a liquid substance of some kind or another. Or perhaps it was the heat of the moment...

Mistalee
Mistalee

He pushed on the horse's neck and they call that animal cruelty? What do they call it when some fat motherfucker in uniform sits on the horse's back all day, digging his heels into the horse's flanks and tugging on the reins? 

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

You should have seen the fuss the cops made over the pot cookies at the NORML Vote the River event a couple of years back. They had multiple cops, their swamp boat, and an undercover narc all in on the act. First time I ever got pulled over while driving an inner tube. These folks have too much time and resources on their hands.

Johnny Skee Mask
Johnny Skee Mask

The mysterious girl, whoever she is. Must be worth all the trouble this guy was willing to go through. Some girls are indeed worth it. That is if you personally know and love them. Sadly, this guy didn't know the girl. And risk it all for nothing.

Guest
Guest

Actually the girl was being trampled by the horse and the guy helped get the horse off of her. That was the part that was left out. The cops told the guy to get away and thats why he went in the water. The guy was tased three times, pepperballed 12 times and punched in the face a few times by the sheriff. Important information that was left out. We all saw it happen

BlogLady
BlogLady

Law enforcement officers struggling to maneuver through the water can cause chaos for the law abiding people in the river who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Why can't people leave their bad behavior at home so all can enjoy what nature has to offer?

GoingBackToMyBeerNow
GoingBackToMyBeerNow

Priceless story! I've always wondered what they'd do if you gave them shit while on the water. I've smoked joints in front of them and they've looked the other way because there's no way they're getting their fat asses in the water.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

How bright do you have to be to use a taser IN THE WATER?

Ted
Ted

I would say you are the dumb punk! That kid pushed the horse off the girl, so why not just go back to FOP bar and continue your drinking?

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

Oh, our boys in brown are so brave to have punched the man in custody.    Someday, perhaps they'll get their gratitude from society.     It's nice to see someone do the right thing and stand up to the assholes.    My gratitude Mr. Donaldson.    Mr. big fella, don't be so negative because you didn't get on with whatever department turned you down.   Keep trying...you've got the attitude.   

Mistalee
Mistalee

Dumb pigs. I hope the TASER felt good. 

Jack
Jack

The charge is interference with a work animal. It just happens to be under the same statute as aminal cruelty.

Aznative
Aznative

Not to mention the extreme heat! Lazy bastard should have his ass kicked.

Native Guns
Native Guns

So if this was "animal cruelty", then where is PETA?........Better yet, why isn't the "Flaccid" old "Fool", who rabidly boasts of being an ardent animal lover of sorts, yet allows his underlings to abuse the very animals he hypothetically loves?

Johnny Skee Mask
Johnny Skee Mask

That's been going on since that gold hungry tyrant: Christopher Columbus, discovered the America's circa 1492 when they brought "the big dogs" over from Europe.

Guest
Guest

Were you there??

Mistalee
Mistalee

If it went down as Guest said it did, then this guy did the brave and noble thing. More so, in fact, if he didn't know the girl and had nothing personal to gain.

Ted
Ted

I hope you will follow up and offer to testify for the defense against the cops! Thanks for letting us know what actually occurred. Arpaio has bred a sense of criminal entitlement within the ranks of his deputies and detention officers. It will be a major job trying to clean it up once he's gone.

Guest
Guest

I was there too and what actually happened was this deputy was there with this big gun and he shot and killed, like, 50 people!!!! And then he said "They're mexicans so it don't matter!" and weighted their bodies down in the river. I saw it 100% true story FIGHT THE POWER

Guest
Guest

Guest is absolutely correct! I was there and saw the entire thing from start to finish...it all started out as the cops trying to give an underage girl a ticket for drinking, but the girl was terrified of the horses so she refused to go with them...the cops then proceeded to grab the girl by her arms and pulling her with them up to their spot on the bank...well in the process of pulling her up there they had to go through some water and when they did the girl began to get really scared and freaking out...while she is freaking out, the cops lose grip of her arms and she falls in the about 3 ft deep wash they had to go through...as soon as everyone sees this the chaos begins to unfold even more...a bunch of men jumped in there to grab the girl so she wouldnt get stomped on...the horses then begin to get very jumpy and start stomping around near the girl...it appeared that she got stepped on by the horse and that is when Donaldson jumped in to push the horses out of the way so the girl wouldnt get more hurt...Donaldson did not order the cops around, he simply was just pushing on the horse to help the girl...the part about Donaldson helping the girl get in the water and float away is complete bull shit!! the guy who helped her back in the water (according to the group that the girl was with) was her boyfriend! Yes donaldson did not need to jump in and help a girl that he does not know, but instead of going after Donaldson so fast, they should have found the girl that started all of this! I was standing at the edge of the river when they brought donaldson in and a couple girls that he was with went to ask the police where he was going and what he was arrested for and the cops were complete assholes to them! They simply wanted to know where they could place his bail and pick him up but they refused to give them information...I think they need to get their story straight! and there was about 100 people there that saw all of this!

Mistalee
Mistalee

Figures. I have seen mounted cops at peaceful demonstrations deliberately run their horses into the crowd, placing innocent people in danger of being trampled. Unfortunately, with mounted cops, it is often the dumber of the two animals that is sitting in the saddle and holding the reins

BlogLady
BlogLady

Well that certainly changes things! I know people that were there, but they didn't see what happened. They just had a difficult time getting out of the way of the officers, who were causing chaos among everyone, especially the first-timers.

bigriggs
bigriggs

Ha, nice try. Never thought once of being a police officer. I do have a few friends that are. I have been on a few ride alongs and have seen first hand the stupidity and arrogance they put up with on a daily basis.

Johnny Skee Mask
Johnny Skee Mask

Did you know that Tommy Collins is a retired "pig"? Ooooh yes, way back in his day, in Colorado, I think. They had the classic police rugers assigned but no tazers at the time when he patrolled.

Mistalee
Mistalee

No, I was not there.

But I can read. He pushed on the horse's neck. He didn't punch it, or kick it. He pushed on the horse's neck to get the horse out of the way. That's not animal cruelty. That's a butthurt cop wanting to throw every charge in the book at this guy.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

It's about damn time that people started standing up to the Badged Bullies who are commonplace in the MCSO.

Johnny Skee Mask
Johnny Skee Mask

Had I known the other side's story(which was not included in this article), I would have retracted my statements. As a matter of fact, that is what I would have done too. Until then, it was all speculation based on what it said in the article.

Tori_mcdaniel3232
Tori_mcdaniel3232

Guest, can you email me please? Chris has an upcoming court date and if you could email me/fax a statement that'd be greatly appreciated. tori_mcdaniel3232@yahoo.com

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

Actually, that is the point of the mounted officers. Horses are very unlikely to trample people, but the horse is used to break up the crowd. I am not defending ANY police actions here or elsewhere, I'm just trying to clear up misinformation. Cops do NOT attempt to trample people with the horses, and unless panicked, the horses have to be trained against their instincts to intentionally trample humans.

Mistalee 9 minutes ago in reply to Mikey1969Mikey, google the words "mounted police trample protest" and see how often people are injured when police employ these tactics.

My point was that cops aren't trying to run people down and purposely trample them. People getting trampled is a sign of poor training and bad leadership, not a sign of a conspiracy of cops being trained to maim. Like I said, it is extremely hard to get a horse to do this on purpose.

Guest
Guest

They were running the horses right through people. It was ridiculous

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

"seen first hand the stupidity and arrogance they put up with on a daily basis"

You shouldn't talk about Rpiehole like that.

Duckykittn
Duckykittn

I know exactly what you mean. There are a few of those around here, but the worst ones are actually the guys/gals who were BEING bullied in school. They get off on being able to bust their tormentors. One in particular in my county, is especially aggressive with his power. He is short and overweight, and has been his whole life. He likes to drive past his ex classmates' homes and cruise by real slow. He habitually pulls over their vehicles, even when no suspicious behavior has transpired. He pulls them over and questions them, runs the tags and licenses of everyone in the vehicle. And when he can't arrest anyone for anything, he lets them go, by saying he's keeping an eye on them. It's so close to stalking and harassment, that I have actually suggested they get a lawyer, but they don't want to give him any more reason to come after them.

Guest
Guest

So you mean you've heard a stereotype and will defend it to the death. Sound logic. You're an idiot.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Well, I hope I didn't offend Tommy, he seems like a pretty decent guy. And I know there are cops who really try to "protect and to serve." But I have known too many who were slow-witted bullies in high school and became cops to make a career out of their character flaws. And some who trafficked in the dope they confiscated. And some who were flat-out psychopaths.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Mikey, google the words "mounted police trample protest" and see how often people are injured when police employ these tactics. 

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