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5/1/2013 8:41:00 AM
Assault, gunfire alleged at Fossil Creek
Joshua Stratford
Joshua Stratford

A Prescott Valley man is accused of assaulting the mother of his son at a Fossil Creek campground on Saturday and then shooting at relatives.

Yavapai County deputies were called to the site at around 7:30 p.m. on April 27. As the lawmen were driving to the area, they encountered the alleged victim, her 7-year-old son and two others who were fleeing in a vehicle.

The woman told them that Joshua Stratford, 28, had assaulted her in front of her son, picking her up and throwing her on the ground, where she struck her head on a rock. She said she lost consciousness momentarily.

When a male family member tried to intervene, Stratford allegedly started shooting in their direction with a handgun. The victim also said she saw Stratford throw the gun into the woods. The group was able to get away, meeting the deputies about five miles away from the campground.

Deputies found the campsite near the Childs Power Road and then found Stratford sleeping in the only tent at the site. Stratford told them he did not have a handgun, claiming he put it into the victim's vehicle before she drove away.

A search of the area that night did not turn up the gun.

Stratford was arrested and booked at the Camp Verde detention center on charges including aggravated assaulted per domestic violence, endangerment (three counts), possession of firearm by prohibited possessor and disorderly conduct.

The following day, an off-duty deputy was camping in the area and located the handgun allegedly used by this suspect, according to YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Eveyln.

Stratford has been released on his own recognizance.

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