But Detective Brown and Sergeant Pinnow of the DPS say it never happened.

"It's just not the way our people would conduct a crime-scene walk-through, allowing a victim to himself start investigating," says Wood, speaking for the pair.

By the way, Louie Puroll later told me that he hasn't shot anyone on duty during his 14 years with Pinal County, including two as a detention officer. Nor, he said, was he involved in any officer-involved shootings during short stints in the late 1970s at two east Texas agencies.


Louie Puroll is a superstar at the Iron Skillet off I-10 — he endorses it as the "best buffet in southern Arizona."

A waitress asks him as she takes our orders. "How you doing, Louie?"

"Real good," he tells her. "Haven't been shot at in a couple of months."

Our conversation this day is spirited, yet cordial.

Puroll tells me that representatives of "the Mexican cartel" have approached him four or five times at this restaurant over the years wanting to do business.

"They didn't want me to sell or buy the stuff, just that they'd make it worth my while to look the other way out in the desert if I bumped into them," he says.

Puroll says he didn't arrest any of these men, call for backup, or write reports about the encounters.

The deputy is a terrific storyteller:

He speaks of his time as a village policeman in a tiny Alaskan village, as a foreman of a west African gold mine, a bail bondsman, a ranch hand, and about his most recent adventure (this summer, after the shooting), a month-long solo trip to Kazakhstan, where he says he rode horseback with nomadic people in what was the fulfillment of a life's dream.

By the way, Puroll says, customs officials in Mosow recognized him as the wounded desert deputy as he was on his way to Kazakhstan and asked him to pose for photos with them.

We get around to the Vekol Valley "shootout" and its aftermath.

He tells me about feeling almost giddy after the high-profile press conference during which Sheriff Babeu officially "closed" the case.

"I rode home in my truck with the windows open smiling all the way," he says. "I wasn't so impressed with the media — hell, they backed down after I got in their face. I enjoyed making my point — that I was telling the truth and your story was mostly fiction."

As the conversation bounces around, Puroll swings into a wild yarn from the 1980s, when he says he worked at the African gold mine.

"We had 60 men lined up waiting to get paid in silver coins — they didn't want paper money 'cuz it gets too wet. Three AWOL soldiers come in and try to rob us. I got a little Western there for a while."

I ask the deputy if that's what he meant at his press conference when he said, "I could tell you other stories that would make [the alleged Pinal County shootout] seem like eating lunch at the Dairy Queen."

He says, "That is not the first close scrape I've been involved in. This is the first time I've been hit."

I praise his prowess as a raconteur.

"I can make up a pretty good story when I choose to," Puroll replies, "but I don't have to.

"If you're telling real stories to tourists, they think you're being so unbelievable. They'll just call you a liar and leave. Those made-up stories are like movies — they're believable. But the things that really happen are never believable."

Speaking of stories, I ask Puroll to tell me again how those smugglers managed to escape from the desert with all that dope.

"It's a big desert," he says, "and it took our people about 2 1/2 hours to surround the area. Motivated individuals, which they certainly were, can get a long way in that time. Anyway, everyone was looking for me, not for them.

"They know where to hide, and they know where to hide the dope. As for those helicopters, they're helpless when it comes to searching for smugglers. I'm disappointed, but not surprised, that those guys disappeared."

Puroll says he knew exactly where the alleged smugglers were headed on the afternoon of April 30: "I could take you to within 50 yards of where they would have hid the dope, right behind the truck stop."

Pinal County sheriff's reports show that the first responder after the deputy's "I've been hit!" call at 4:04 p.m. pulled into the Veja Truck Stop at 4:20.

That deputy was followed by literally dozens of other cops pouring in from both directions off I-8.

Pinal County set up a command post a few miles west of the truck stop at I-8, at the entrance to the funky dirt road that Puroll had driven into the desert on hours earlier.

I ask Puroll if he's telling me that the bad guys made it 3.5 miles from the crime scene to the interstate — five of them toting heavy backpacks filled with baled marijuana — before the cavalry got to the area.

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109 comments
chiefnoname2
chiefnoname2

The deputy is a liar, not because of the article but because he is a cop and that's what they get paid to do. They create crime and criminals and don't care who it affects as long as its not them. Police don't deserve respect and certainly don't care about truth. Read a collection of police reports on the same incident and discover all the contradictions in an attempt to justify their own. From killing citizens to tasering unarmed woman the Police are the true criminals.

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Joeweb
Joeweb

Does anybody know anything about the investigation into the 3 MCSO Hot shots after a report of an insider was out?? - Pinal county should take care? Or is that buried in sand ......

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Arceiveer233
Arceiveer233

Read the story---I just did. Forget your prejudices whatever they are. No one is being accused of anything. This is very straight forward. I don't even think the reporter didn't like the deputy but he was writing what he found out. I moved to Arizona a year ago and I think you guys are crazier here than in my home state of Pennsylvania by a lot so there

Harold
Harold

jim, you must be hells angel ? bully for you, you and this pearl are both a legend in thier own minds. I'd say paul rubin did a great job on this story

JIM
JIM

rule one of a 1%er outlaw biker club like the Hells Angels is never talk to the media. this mean cunts like Paul Rubin and or new times etc. you Sheeple the naive general public and dumb fucking pigs aka cops out there could learn alot from us 1%ers. keeps your big yaps shut and never talk to the media!

Stacy
Stacy

Now the Fucking Idiot has been placed on Administrative Leave over his comments to the New Times regarding his chats with drug cartels. This deputy is a liar and he's finally getting busted. HA HA HA...

Julie
Julie

Sampson, the problem with your analogy is that Rubin isn't about saving fave. He's not wrong about Puroll. People in his own office (not Babeu, mind you) know this. The teeshirt analysis proved nothing. The guy lied, and his media-loving boss made hay with it. It's a great undercurrent to the 1070 debacle. But you're right about one thing: Babeu wants it to go away. Otherwise, how could you NOT investigate an unreported deat threat against a reporter. And three meetings with drug kingpins -- also unreported. If I were sheriff, there would be hell to pay for any deputy who violated normal police procedure so blatently.

davetheman
davetheman

Why would any deputy patrol in a UNMARKED VEHICLE if he was supposed to be on duty?

Julie
Julie

These guys, Sampson and Victory, must be Louie Puroll's gay lovers. Louie = righteous and New Times = evil. Right, guys? Most people in Louie's own department don't believe him. Paul Rubin exposed him as quite the fool. I still don't understand why Sheriff Babeu, if has any ethics at all, hasn't fired Puroll for not reporting that alleged death threat against Rubin and for not reporting that he was meeting with drug lords routinely at the Iron Skillet. The PCSO might overtake the MCSO as Arizona's most corrupt S.O.

Paul_Rubin
Paul_Rubin

I appreciate fair and unbiased new reports. I read this article because Paul Rubin articles in the past are more about his own personal feels than about the story and wants people to "see it his way". LMAO ROLF at ya Pauly

Ruppie32
Ruppie32

Excellent read....what a story!

Mike
Mike

If this guy is a Terrorism Expert i'm the Pope, LMAO!

Supergye
Supergye

Why would Puroll shoot himself:?-He is against SP1070.-He would get no benefit from shooting himself. Itsnot like his job depends on the SP1070 law passing or not.-Why risk your life, and a potential scar just to make a politicalstatement about immigrants? Most want to do something about it already.-No gun residue found on blood shirt. Even though 6 hours of the shirtscustody were unaccounted for, how would one remove gunpowder residuewhile leaving the blood intact? Are you suggesting a different shirtwas worn? So he had to hide the shirt from his co-workers 80 minutesafter getting airlifted out. That makes no sense.-As to the gun firing with a GPS, phone, and gun held...this is easilyexplained by having a phone and GPS holster...the timing of eachevent may not be exactly as Puroll said the second time which is dueto witness memory fatigue...I personally can't remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday.

Coz
Coz

Obviously you don't have a clue what you said or mean.

Sampson>>I've never said they cleared him. Sampson>> there ain't none and DPS backs it up.

Coz
Coz

What a moron Puroll is.

bobpomeroy
bobpomeroy

"Louie Puroll is a superstar at the Iron Skillet off I-10 — he endorses it as the "best buffet in southern Arizona."

That statement alone defines Puroll's credibility. My visit there resulted in the opposite opinion. cold, hard, over cooked.

Tomychagrin1
Tomychagrin1

No, "Sampson" Fake Name isn't an electrician. He's a wannabe police detective---really

Teo
Teo

We have a name for Bullshit artists like Puroll out here on Arizona ranches, Liar! It fits the arrogant asshole like a glove!

Dennis Gilman
Dennis Gilman

I think Purroll smokes too much of the desert weed himself, watched Men who Stare at Goats one time too many and eventually will convince himself (and that sweet lil waitress at the truck stop) that he is, in fact, John Wayne.

The bottom line is Arizona's Sheriff Departments are all a bit wacky and too Hollywood for real police work anymore. They all took a lesson from Arpaio and are busy getting make-overs and sporting Stetsons instead of tracking bad guys, serving warrants and cleaning house.

Imanoid2
Imanoid2

Hey Spud: One whole year? Ha! Ha! You bet we are a whole lot crazier than any back East dudes. Just look at the brain dead bitch that sits in the governor's seat as a figurehead. While her handlers plan how to spend all the money that they are making as lobbyists for CCA. Pearce really is the bigot, Mormon titular head. The state has an over the hill "hero" (if getting shot down by the people you are dropping bombs are can be called a hero,in McCain. Kyl plays politics with our lives by putting a hold on the Start nuclear treaty with Russia. Now that is really crazy!

PeckerWood White Boy
PeckerWood White Boy

yes people in Arizona and the whole western USA are more free spirits and more crazy than those uptight Conservative east coast snobs.

JIM
JIM

my advice Yankee boy from Nerdsvilles Pennsylvania is to go back to PA this place is to crazy for your type.

Joeweb
Joeweb

In fact he did - and I do not believe ANY word that Pinalccio utters out of his mouth!

Glen
Glen

there is a Hells Angels member who is a pilot for southwest airlines. so tell paranoid Harold who is afraid of so called bully's not to fly southwest.

JIM
JIM

Harold, be real man and stop hiding behind your yuppie computer talking shit and stop by the Hells Angels Phoenix clubhouse any time and talk to me in person. the address is 147 west Mojave in Phoenix Arizona. knock on the door of the house to the right or south of the clubhouse ask for Jim if i dont answer. go around to the north side of the clubhouse and come into the bail bonds business there ask for Jim. there you got your invite. i doubt you will be knocking on my door anytime in this life time. im not a bully but i am a former USMC. so im a good patriotic American vet from the Vietnam era days and a member of the Hells Angels Phoenix Arizona charter. hope to meet you soon.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Julie, it appears the MCSO shurf, you know - that mentally impaired old bastard, has decided he needs to start cleaning up MCSO. He could start at the top, with some shampoo and that would be a great first step. BUT, he only has just over two years left in office. Not enough time to even scratch the surface. He might get Sousa and Palmer to SHOUT OUT for some help. They seem good at that function.

Babeu is busy planning his next media circus. He just wants the Puroll debacle to go away. He used it to it's max when needed and now it needs to be out of sight and out of mind. He may have a VERY LONG way to catch up with some of the corruption in MCSO.

Strunk
Strunk

And we're laughing at your grammar, punctuation and style errors. :)

TeoBuneo
TeoBuneo

Wow, you haven't got the brains God gave to a gerbil! You wash the shirt, dry it and add new blood. Simple evidence manipulation, happens all the time when chain of custody is violated! How is it that the blood was still wet all that time later? Please fill us in with your brilliant analysis, super.

TruthOut
TruthOut

What does SB1070 have to do with him being a liar and a fraud? Just because others used him as a pawn in the SB1070 debate doesn't mean the deputy isn't an opportunist and a publicity seeker.

He's on the record lying about his work history - he's a glory hound who to-date hadn;t found any. Decent people such as you would never act as this man is accused of acting, but that doesn't mean many aren't so inclined. History is full of such hoaxes.

There was no real risk of life - place the nuzzle against the skin and all you take out is the subcutaneous fat.

Yes, the suggestion is that he was wearing his regulation issued top-shirt, as he is ordered to wear, but was never collected at the scene. This is suspicious, and it makes sense.

Sampson
Sampson

Were you born stupid or did you have to practice at it???

Those statements I did make and standby them...so whats the dillio?

I did say "I've never said they (DPS) cleared him."And I also said "...there ain't none and DPS backs it up."

Both true statments...DPS has never said they (DPS) cleared him and I have never once said they did. And there is no close proximity gunshot residue ("there ain't none) and DPS does back that up....because they found none. So whats the big deal???

You say I don't have a clue what I say or mean??? Talking to people like you coz is like fighting a battle of whits with an unarmed man.

Sampson
Sampson

Uhm I don't have a clue what you're taking about? Who's "fake name" and why does everyone think Im an electrician? Comments like this make me hope your not near any sharp objects and all of the house hold cleaners and prescription drugs are put up high and out of reach.

Sampson
Sampson

LOL...so bullshit artists in other states aren't called Liars...just in Arizona, is that right?

Sampson
Sampson

LOL...your profile pic looks like Michael Moore

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Dennis, funny you should say that. I am still in awe that any law enforcement agency would allow a single deputy, knowingly, to go into the desert alone, without cover or supervision, to 'hunt' smugglers. Babeu should have been taken to task for this, as well as Messing, but the issue became whether Puroll was actually shot by someone else. In the mean time there was a smoke and mirror internal 'investigation' to clear Puroll for shooting his guns in the desert. The investigation should have been on policy violations of Puroll going into the desert and putting himself in harm's way (his story) for no good reason.

Yes, the outcome seems to be a complete whitewash by Babeu. He has copied the MCSO policy, "We are NEVER wrong, even when we do something that isn't right".

The two infamous sheriffs of Arizona, The Flaccid Fool of MCSO and Little Joe of PCSO. Both apparently mentally ill in one form or another.

Bradcalhoun
Bradcalhoun

Who says we like McCain ? He is a warmonger and is just as much of a Liberal as the likes of Kennedy,Leiberman etc.etc.Kyl same thing,he's lost touch with the people in AZ.Lets get back to the so-called "braindead" Governor.Who got us into this state deficit ? The Liberal Napolitano is who.She incidently is in the Council of Foreign Relations and does not want borders and is all for legalizing Latins that are illegal.So,get your facts straight and in closing,the reason the state has gotten so screwed up,is because all you easterners are moving here.One more thing,in closing,McCain was never in Hanoi Hilton as he claims,he had special treatment because the VC new his father was an Admiral and he is from the liberal state of Ohio.

Joeweb
Joeweb

See Jim - even they are brighter in Pen state as you. ( AZ has a high number of idiots)

Sampson
Sampson

Bravo you guys!!!! Julie and Tommy Collins finally get it :) They put out their opinion, which they are entitled too, as am I and do it in a sarcastic way that is not hurtful. To answer Julie I am really only concerned about the shooting, not what Puroll are at the diner or who he allegedly talk to months after the incident. Puroll is a Barney Fife character..nothing more and nothing less. But I do think his shooting story is correct and the physical evidence backs that up...it really does guys. This is the 2nd stab that Paul Rubin has done at this, the first one miserably striking out. I don't hate Newtimes, just bad reporting where reporters put more emotion that actual reporting into the story. Rubin got embarrassed so he needs to save face, simple as that. Have you read the stories on Phil Gordon by Monica Lonzo. Those are great stories full of facts. Rubin needs to admit he called this one wrong and as dear departed Leslie Nielsen as Frank Drebin used to say ; "Move along folks, nothing to see here, move along..."

Paul_Rubin
Paul_Rubin

Thats why I work for a rag llike the NewTimes and not anything prestigious like the Enquirer. LOL ;-)

LaughingGirl
LaughingGirl

You may not see the conflict in the two quotes, but the English-speaking world does.

Sampson
Sampson

When I first heard he was in the desert himself "hunting" drug smugglers by himself I had serious questions about that myself. However, is it normal??? Does any other deputy do that??? If you don't trust the sheriff for the answer, why didn't anyone ask the union if this is common practice for their members. I think its not safe but at the same time before I start accusing a law enforcement officer (with an apparent unblemished record) of being in cahoots with drug smugglers I'd like to get some more info. Also, have you seen the Internal Affairs Report? Is it posted on line some where? Just because it does support your beliefs (apparently unsubstantiated beliefs) doesn't mean it was "smoke and mirrors" unless you have seen the report...right??? People blog that Puroll must have been smoking weed, is associated with drug dealers, is lying, is corrupt, is covering things up...all based from information supplied by a weekly news magazine (paper) that also swore Steve Nash was leaving the Suns and his last game would be Nov. 15th. There is some suspicious actions/activity in this case I admit but as far as stone cold facts that something illegal occurred...there ain't none and DPS backs it up.

LaughingGirl
LaughingGirl

LOL - brilliant-boy Sampson, what a wonderful understanding of sarcasm you have. Pity, one imagines, all the English teachers who think it pertains to ironical taunts, not dull insults. Thank-you for your continued edification.

TeoBuneo
TeoBuneo

Forget the Gerbil, a gnat has more of the little grey cells than you possess boychick! Yes I'm sure every law enforcement agency posts their internal affairs investigations online for public comment. You have been banging your noggin on the wall way too much Samson.

Sampson
Sampson

Good points...I think your wrong though about county employees not belonging to unions or rarely. As for DPS "clearing" Puroll, Id invite you to review my previous blogs. I've never said they cleared him. Your getting me confused with someone else. What I have consistently said is the DPS analysis showed no evidence of a close proximity gunshot wound. That is consistent with what PCSO and Puroll has been saying. Your comment about "Hammering on the source" of the info...if in my opinion the "source" is wrong then why not...isn't that what a blog is for. New Times does put out some quality work. Monica Lonzo's articles on Phil Gordon are great and backed up with fact. Last thing...in all honesty I don't get the electrician thing? I guess your trying to be sarcastic or say something funny but its not working and I don't get it.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Sampson, why do you keep hammering on the source of the information? If you don't like what you read here, simply stop reading here.

I seriously doubt Pinal S.O. employees are a part of any union. Most county departments don't get involved with unions, however you can feel free to give them a call and ask. No, I haven't seen the Internal Affairs report. I've just read bits and pieces about the result of the investigation, which makes me believe it is just a puff piece to formalize the shooting.

Most departments have operation policies that say when officers are allowed to work solo and such. Most departments don't let their employees work as Puroll seems to.

I have to wonder if Puroll is the equivalent of the postal employee who walks around doing his own thing and his supervisors are afraid to confront him for fear or injury or death.

I have worked with a couple cops over the years that seem eerily similar to Puroll. I can tell you from my perspective they were dangerous people and not the kind most taxpayers hope to have protecting them. Again, just my opinion. But every time I read detailed information about how the guy operates it makes me shiver. I am going to assume PCSO didn't have Puroll spend time with a psychologist before returning to work after the 'shooting' incident. That is what professional law enforcement agencies would require. Thus, I don't expect it from PCSO.

Imagine being a professional law enforcement officer working at PCSO and having to work with a 'cowboy cop' like Puroll.

Again, ONE more time, Sampson. DPS DID NOT CLEAR PUROLL.

("We don't, quote, clear people," DPS Sergeant Kevin Wood, a spokesman, told me later. "The findings are what they are. To say that we cleared the deputy is inaccurate.")

Sampson, you're not really an electrician, are you?

 
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