A Pinal County painter bit her husband, a court bailiff, during a recent fight over a cell phone in the Superior Court building.
Heather Ojeda, a facilities maintenance worker, is suspected of suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct in the incident, according to a March 11 Florence Police Department report.
Ojeda happens to be one of three county-employed convicted criminals who were mentioned in a 2013 TV news report about Pinal County's hiring practices.
The brawl began on a Wednesday morning about 8:15 a.m., after Ojeda decided to visit her husband, Ramon Ojeda, at his workplace.
She found him in a courtyard behind the court building, smoking a cigarette and talking on his cell phone. As she walked up to him, "she heard him call the person the phone 'baby,'" the report says. Ojeda claims that her husband hung up the phone immediately upon seeing her and put it in his pocket.
She demanded to know who'd been on the other end of the line and became "upset" when he said it was none of her business. He refused to give her his phone "so she grabbed it from him."
Ramon followed her into the court building. His wife put the phone in her pants pocket and sat down. As he reached over her, he claims, she leaned forward and bit him.
Ramon went to the Florence police lobby afterward to report the fight. An officer writes in the report that he "noticed what appeared to be teeth marks on both the top and bottom part of the mark. The skin also appeared broken as there were light and dark red blood marks along the top and the bottom, and the middle as well."
Heather was called into the police station. She told essentially the same story as her husband, but said she didn't bite him with "malicious intent." Part of his arm and shoulder covered her mouth as he leaned over her, she explained to police, and she bit down by reflex because she's claustrophobic.
Police submitted the report to the Florence Town Prosecutor for potential misdemeanor charges.
She didn't return a phone message we left on Wednesday.
In 2013, Ojeda was highlighted in an investigation and broadcast by Channel 12 (KPNX-TV) reporter Wendy Halloran about the past convictions of Pinal County employees.
The news station's September 2013 broadcast, "Criminals for Hire?", revealed that Ojeda had been convicted for theft, battery and a 1998 assault on a police officer in Chicago. The woman and two other county employees with criminal records were rejected for cleaning the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, but otherwise allowed to remain employed, Halloran reported.
Correction: We previously labeled Heather Ojeda's job as janitor -- she's a painter.
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