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San Tan Valley Bar Fight Leaves Woman Hospitalized and 2 Arrested

The PCSO 9-1-1 Communication Center received a report of a fight in-progress at the Gym Bar and Grill at 2:10 a.m. Deputies arrived and found a 56-year-old female unconscious in the parking lot in front of the bar. Witnesses identified a 35-year-old male, Christopher Russell, as the person who punched the woman, causing her to collapse and hit her head on the pavement. Russell was taken into custody immediately by deputies.

The bar manager reported that a second man, Mark Melanson, a 24-year-old San Tan Valley Resident, had caused a disturbance inside the bar at closing time. When the bar manager asked him to leave, Melanson took a swing at the manager, missing him. Other patrons intervened and convinced Melanson to leave. The manager exited the bar behind Melanson and got in to another altercation with Melanson. During the altercation, Melanson punched the bar manager causing him to fall backwards. The manager got back up and saw Christopher Russell approaching him.

Christopher Russell, walked up to the bar manager and placed him in a chokehold, causing the manager to pass out. Sheriff Paul Babeu said, “Several witnesses reported to our deputies that during the altercation with the bar manager and other patrons, Mr. Russell went to his car and got a handgun. He was holding it in his hand when several bar patrons tried to get him to put it away. The 56-year-old woman was near Mr. Russell when he punched her in the face, causing her to fall backwards and hit her head on the pavement.” The injured woman was airlifted to a local emergency trauma center for treatment. She remains in critical condition and is being treated for serious head injuries. Both suspects were booked into Pinal County Jail and charged with assault and disorderly conduct. Russell is also being charged with aggravated assault and felony disorderly conduct for recklessly displaying the weapon. Both men have since bonded out of jail.

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Sunday, 21 April 2024

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