Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio's Deputy Charley Armendariz Implicated MCSO "Command Staff," Says Activist Lydia Guzman

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One Phoenix lawyer I spoke with said she had been approached by Guzman to represent Armendariz but that she, too, could not do so because of a conflict.

Guzman says she does not know if the DOJ or the FBI ever spoke with Armendariz.

On April 30, the Phoenix Police Department responded to a 911 call from Armendariz's residence and found Armendariz in his boxer shorts shooting pepper balls from a pepper-ball gun at non-existent assailants in his garage.

The PPD contacted the MCSO, and MCSO deputies helped convince Armendariz that he should go to the hospital for a voluntary mental evaluation.

While at Armendariz's house, MCSO detectives say they spotted a Sheriff's Office evidence bag containing a pipe and marijuana. This lead to the MCSO's obtaining a warrant to search Armendariz's residence, where it found more drugs, license plates, IDs, and all the previously mentioned items.

On May 4, according to court documents, two of Armendariz's friends called 911, reporting that Armendariz was suicidal. Armendariz then barricaded himself in his home, holding a shotgun to his head.

In the early-morning hours of May 5, Armendariz surrendered, was taken into custody, booked, released, and given 24 hours to obtain his court-ordered electronic monitoring device.

"He called me the moment he was released," Guzman explains. "He was crying so much that I had to hang up on him twice because I couldn't understand what he was saying.

"He said, `They're trying to make me look like I'm crazy and I'm not, they're trying to set me up,' but I don't know if that's what a crazy person would say."

Knowing he was going to be on supervised release, Guzman says Armendariz called her as he ran around, gathering supplies, like toilet paper and food.

Guzman says he complained that he was being followed by MCSO deputies. She reminded him that he hadn't gotten his ankle bracelet yet, and told him they likely were just keeping an eye on him.

"He said, `I want to talk to somebody,'" remembers Guzman. "And, 'I'm scared.'

"He kept saying, `I know you have a group of volunteers, can you please make sure they're in front of my house? Can you please make sure they watch my house tonight?'"

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons