ARIZONA NEWS

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from July 23-25

Jul 25, 2021, 6:06 PM | Updated: 6:56 pm
(Twitter photo/ADOT)...
(Twitter photo/ADOT)
(Twitter photo/ADOT)

PHOENIX — Storms over the weekend dropped more than two inches of rain in most areas across the Valley, a Phoenix police officer was arrested for assaulting a man in handcuffs and a West Valley food bank won nearly 3 tons of beef in a competition.

Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.


Storm drops inches of rain in West Valley, causes flooding

A storm in the West Valley dropped more than two inches of rain on Sunday, resulting in flooded roads and stranded drivers.

More than two-and-a-half inches of rain was recorded in some West Valley cities.

Multiple cars were stuck in flooded waters near 107th Avenue and Union Hills in Sun City from the storm, with fire and police personnel having to pull people out of the vehicles, according to KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Martha Maurer.

It’s been a wet couple of days for the Valley as most metro-Phoenix cities have received more than two inches of rain over the past three days, according to the Flood Control District of Maricopa County.

Scottsdale picked up more than four inches of rain during the wet weekend.


Phoenix police arrest rookie officer for assaulting man while handcuffed

A 23-year-old Phoenix police officer has been arrested for assaulting a man while he was handcuffed last week, authorities said.

Connor Orth-Smith was arrested and booked for aggravated assault for the incident that occurred July 16 around 6:45 p.m. near the area of 99th Avenue and McDowell Road.

Officers learned the probationary officer was called to help security personnel at a nearby hospital after a man refused to leave the property and became physical with security.

Police said “subsequent interactions” prompted Orth-Smith to arrest the man, who appeared to be intoxicated, for aggravated assault on a police officer.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office alerted Phoenix police several days later about concerns regarding the body-worn camera video related to the arrest.

At the same time, police said an internal review of the incident was underway.


Glendale food bank wins nearly 3 tons of ground beef worth $15,000

A West Valley food bank took delivery of nearly 3 tons of beef Friday morning after winning a competition with four other community food banks from around the nation.

Beefitarian, a promotional campaign from food company JBS USA, donated the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Hope for Hunger Food Bank in Glendale with nearly $15,000 in beef.

Hope for Hunger beat out food banks from Maryland, Cincinnati, Tennessee and Texas for the top prize of the Beefitarian City Showdown. Voting was conducted May 28-June 18.

The contest provided Hope for Hunger with 5,769 pounds of lean ground beef to distribute to families in need.


Mesa police identify suspect who shot at officers during car chase

Mesa police have identified two suspects who allegedly shot at officers during a car chase on Wednesday, authorities said.

Police said Dane Smith, 26, was seen firing at least nine shots towards officers from a gun through the back of a window of a Cherokee that Thomas Elliot, 53, was driving, according to the probable cause statement on Thursday.

The two men were detained Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. near 80th Street and Baseline Road when officers observed Smith, who they had probable cause to arrest for car theft charges, standing outside of a vehicle, the Mesa Police Department said in a press conference.


Arizona leaders stress importance of vaccine amid rising COVID-19 cases

In response to the rising COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant, Arizona leaders on Friday stressed the importance of getting vaccinated.

“We have a proven solution with the vaccine,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press release. “I strongly encourage every Arizonan who is eligible for the vaccine to get it so they can protect themselves and our whole state.”

Since March, 94% of COVID-19 deaths have been those not fully vaccinated, while 94% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are among those not fully vaccinated, according to Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ.

“We know cases are increasing in Arizona, which is why it’s so important to get vaccinated,” Christ said in a press conference Friday.

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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from July 23-25