By New Times
By Connor Radnovich
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Ray Stern
By Keegan Hamilton
By Matthew Hendley
By Monica Alonzo
By Monica Alonzo
Once he had her under control Dains remembered Darlene saying to someone with a camera, "Take a good picture of me while I pose with a pained expression on my face."
By now pictures of the altercation were being snapped by both Pete Span and his 72-year-old mother, Virginia.
When Phoenix police arrived, Darlene and Jerry were placed in separate cars and Dains seized Virginia's camera as evidence.
"I took the camera from Virginia Span . . . She'd been hitting me over the head with it and I was going to seize it as evidence of an assault on myself," said Dains. "She was a very elderly individual and it was fairly easy to get the camera. My intention was to preserve the hair and possibly the blood on the camera."
Virginia Span resisted giving up the camera and was handcuffed and taken to a police station. Phoenix patrolman Bill Jenkins said the old lady hit him too.
Although both Grotewold and Dains made extensive lists of their injuries, nowhere does Dains mention the lacerations or lumps upon the scalp that one would expect from repeated blows of a 35mm camera. Nor for that matter did the government even bother to test the camera for hair and blood samples.
Phoenix patrolman Kirk Irby reported that as he led Virginia Span to the squad car for the ride to the police station, she lunged for the can of mace on his belt.
This allegation conflicts with the fact that Virginia Span's hands were cuffed behind her back at the time.
In fact everything alleged by the law enforcement officers is in conflict with what the Span family members contend happened on April 7, 1988.
Darlene said that when the marshals refused to allow her to photocopy the wanted flyer, she told them there was nothing more that she and Jerry could do for them. They had customers to wait on and the marshals should leave. After they turned to depart, the two officers grabbed both of them.
Jerry Span's story is identical and begins when he first notices Darlene talking to two men.
"All three of them are standing in front of the block customer's truck and I nodded hello to them when I was walking toward the back of the truck to finish loading it," said Jerry Span. "And Darlene called me back over to see if I could help the two men. And they wanted to know if that folded-up paper that they had was a picture of my brother, Mickey, and I told them no, it's not. They acted like they didn't believe me, and Darlene read me the description on the paper of who it was and all that, the description of it, to see if I knew who it was, because I ain't able to read. I told him it's absolutely not my brother. I told them I never seen that person in my life and I don't know who it is."
The recollection is at critical odds with the government's case. Prosecutor Mathew charged that Jerry Span initiated the attack, punched the marshal and went for his gun because Jerry was deluded into thinking the officers were part of the city's conspiracy to evict them from the land.
Obviously if Jerry Span knew the marshals were looking for a fugitive, a fugitive who had the same name as his brother but who was almost thirty years older, he would not have assumed the marshals were evicting them.
"I asked him could he leave the information and if I see him around, I could, let me know who to notify and I'll notify him," said Jerry Span. "And all I know, they started yelling and screaming at Darlene to get Mickey here right now, right this minute. And points right to a spot on the ground. `You get them right here, right now!' Darlene said, `I told you, he's not here, he's at a truck sale.' And they said she was lying, they was threatening her, all kinds of threats, and they was acting just like maniacs.
"So then I asked them to leave and I told them, `We helped you all we could, we can't help you no more, I'm going to have to go back to my customers and help them.' And I turned my back and walked away.
"All of a sudden then I was bashed in the back of the neck, kicked to the back and knocked to the ground, and I had no idea what hit me and I didn't know what knocked me to the ground, but it felt like a ton of bricks. It was real painful, it was real painful. And he said, `Don't turn your back on me, you mother fucker.'"
As Grotewold wrestled Jerry Span over the hood of a car, Darlene said, she was grabbed by her hair and slammed into a fence by Dains, causing the two of them to topple to the ground.
The Span family maintains that the marshals ordered them to stop taking photos and then attempted to grab all of the film.