Sheriff Joe’s Tortured in Hades, and Will Arizona’s New U.S. Attorney Follow El Diablo’s Lead?


I'd perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on just about any man — if his life were at stake! But what about Sheriff Joe Arpaio, say, if he were suffering a heart attack?

No way! That was my initial response to this ethical hypothetical, because Maricopa County would definitely be better off without him. But then it occurred to me that Joe is a human being. Well, isn't he? Hmmm?

That's me (to the right, grimacing), as portrayed by Jerry Mendoza, performing CPR on a certain corrupt top cop during James Garcia's American Pastorela: The Saga of Sheriff Joe.
Charles Dee Rice Photography /
That's me (to the right, grimacing), as portrayed by Jerry Mendoza, performing CPR on a certain corrupt top cop during James Garcia's American Pastorela: The Saga of Sheriff Joe.


Read another example of racial profiling by Sheriff Joe's forces in New Times' series "Are Your Papers in Order?" This week: "The American Artist."

Such were my thoughts on seeing myself depicted in the New Carpa Theater's recent production of writer/director James Garcia's American Pastorela: The Saga of Sheriff Joe. Yeah, that's right, I was name-checked and given my own character in the play, which features Arpaio croaking in the first scene after getting grilled by yours truly during a press event.

James Rivas, who portrays a properly buffoonish Sheriff Joe, recognizes me by name in the handful of reporters clustered round him, and refers to me as an "all-around pain in my behind." I — as played by Jerry Mendoza — press him on profiling brown folks during his infamous anti-immigrant sweeps, and Joe drops of a myocardial infarction right then and there.

Being the only Fourth Estater present who knows CPR, I'm cajoled into sitting on the supine sheriff's lap and pumping his chest. As if that weren't bad enough, the other reporters suggest that I really should perform mouth-to-mouth on the croaking leader of Maricopa County's ruling junta (otherwise known as the MCSO).

Thankfully for my reputation, my character draws the line at going lips to lips with the septuagenarian, and Arpaio's off to Hades to meet with El Diablo.

Just before being dragged off-stage by machine-gun toting MCSO thugs, I'm asked by another reporter for my reaction to Arpaio's demise, to which I reply, "Well, he was an endless source of entertainment."

In a subsequent scene, Arpaio awakes in Hell, dressed only in a wife-beater, a pair of autographed pink boxers, and characteristic black socks and dress shoes. When he wonders where he is, one of Lucifer's servants, played by actress Michelle Burchfield, tells him he's in Satan-country, informing him, "Stephen Lemons almost saved your life."

"Lemons!?" barks Arpaio, comically. Arpaio then goes on to make a deal with the devil, who'll allow him to return to the land of the living as long as he does his bidding, and prevents a shepherd family from Mexico from seeing the baby Jesus born in Phoenix.

See, a pastorela, as the name suggests, is essentially a retelling of the Nativity story, with herders of sheep trekking off to see the newborn son of God. Such pageants have a long tradition in Mexico, dating back to Spanish Colonial times, where they were used to convert indigenous peoples to Catholicism.

Humor is often an essential element to pastorelas, and playwright Garcia doesn't fail us here. My favorite part is when Arpaio, who fails to prevent the shepherds from reaching their destination, must return to Hell and face trial before a tribunal made up of Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and a high-heel wearing J. Edgar Hoover. The charge: Arpaio ain't evil enough.

Oh, the irony.

Arpaio's defended — kinda sorta — by Phoenix attorney and activist Danny Ortega, also played by Mendoza. Here I have to point out that the thin, handsome Mendoza makes for a better Ortega than a version of me. Casting-wise. Should he want to play me in the film version, he should be prepared to pack on the poundage like Robert De Niro in Raging Bull.

Or if John Goodman's available, he'd do in a pinch.

Ortega quickly bows out, leaving Arpaio to the mercy of Hitler, et al., who show no mercy and fry him with repeated electric shocks, as he sits in his pink underwear, restrained by his own pink handcuffs, trying to convince his cackling tormentors that he really is as evil as they are.

If New Carpa videotaped the production, they should consider posting a clip of Arpaio being shocked on YouTube. I guarantee it'd go viral.


The way Arpaio and his loyal henchman, County Attorney Andrew Thomas, have been running wild — charging judges, raiding charities, retaliating against political foes and critics, and terrorizing Arizona's Hispanic community — you'd think the feds would be all over the MCSO.

But, so far, nothing. More than a year into investigating Arpaio for racial profiling and abuse of power, the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI are as silent as doormats.

"The DOJ needs to go in and just take over the MCSO," a high-ranking federal official told me recently. This person agreed that Arpaio and Thomas are running amok. Okay, great, so what are the feds gonna do about it?

My source, who's in a position to know what's going on, suggested that new Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke would soon be "taking a critical look into the shenanigans going on in Maricopa County." When I raised the possibility of a federal grand jury, my source didn't reject it.

When will things start to move, I wondered? Within a matter of weeks, the source suggested.

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Stanley Lee
Stanley Lee

For me i would really help if i knew mouth to mouth in order to save life. But in this case I would rather back up and stay quiet.What would you think is the best way?

Stanley Lee from Amortisseur voiture 


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I do wish the Feds come in and just take over. Its been done before in the past. Look at what happened to LAPD's Rampart Division.. the DOJ just came in and took over there and that wasn't that long ago in history.

Regarding giving Arpaio mouth to mouth.. ewe. I wonder if he's got Hendershot breath? ugh, gross!(you figure out what I mean by that)


mouth to mouth NO WAY and I am trained to do that. I would give mouth to mouth on a skunk first! That had just sprayed!

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