Joe Arpaio-Deputy-Threaten-er (Alleged) Richard Malley's Arrest Report Released, and Malley's "Arizona Special Operations Group"
The MCSO has released its report on an August 17 incident, during which Glendale resident Richard Malley allegedly pointed an AR-15 at one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deputies in the desert near Gila Bend.
Following his run-in with MCSO Deputy P. Arend, which could have easily ended in bloodshed, Malley, 49, was arrested for aggravated assault. Later, he was publicly chided by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who said Malley was "lucky he didn't see 30 rounds fired into him."
But under the handle "Doc Garratt" on a Facebook page entitled "Justice for Robert Malley," Malley -- who is unemployed and lives with his mother -- complains that he was wrongly arrested "for flashing my flash light at someone to i. d. them." This, while begging for donations to help with his legal bills.
MCSO's report tells a different story, of course, and mentions that the flashlight in question was attached to the barrel of his AR-15, a fact omitted by Malley, who refers to himself as the "commander" of the "Arizona Special Operations Group," which I'll get to in a moment.
Included in the report is Deputy Arend's account of what happened. He and another deputy were patrolling for drug smugglers on Interstate 8 near Vekol Valley, stopping their car and honking its horn, in hopes of flushing out marijuana mules waiting for a ride.
At mile marker 140, after honking, Arend parked his car and got out on his own to look for signs of foot traffic with his flashlight. Shortly thereafter, Malley confronted Arend in a standoff that almost turned deadly.
I heard an unknown male who was later identified as Richard Malley...yelling commands for me to show my hands. I turned around and looked northwest at a thicket of Palo Verde trees and saw Malley pointing a rifle (AR-15) with a mounted flashlight directly at me blinding me. I verbally identified myself as a Deputy Sheriff several times. Malley continues to order me to show him identification while holding me at gunpoint, while at the same time saying he was with "Arizona Special Operations Group." I gave him commands to show me his identification and once again verbally identified myself as a Deputy Sheriff. After a few seconds he finally lowered his rifle.
As he did the light left my eyes and I was able to clearly identify his rifle as an AR-15. It was later discovered the weapon had a loaded thirty-round magazine with a live round in the chamber and the rifles' selector switch was in the `fire position.' During the confrontation I was in fear of my life believing if I would have met the lethal force with lethal force I would have been shot, due to the fact I was at a disadvantage by him already having his rifle pointed at me and the fact I believed he was [with] another law enforcement agency. I noticed my hands and voice were trembling. I was also confused by his verbal commands `Arizona Special Operations Group' believing at first he was a Law Enforcement Officer from another agency.
Angry, Arend informed Malley that he just committed aggravated assault on a peace officer. Malley replied that he didn't know Arend was a cop. So Arend pointed at the sheriff's patch on his left shoulder.
"[Malley] then told me that didn't prove anything...saying he had patches on his uniform," Arend writes.
Though Arend produced his sheriff's badge and his MCSO identification card, Malley refused to turn over his weapons. By this time, Arend's fellow militia-men Rob "Lil' Dog" Crooks of the Mountain Minutemen (or "Minuteman," as seems more appropriate) and Robert Deatherage, the supposed "captain" of Arizona Special Operations Group, were on the scene.