ARIZONA NEWS

Former Arizona prisons director had tequila in system before standoff, police say

Jan 26, 2022, 5:30 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — Former Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan had already consumed a half bottle of tequila by the time officers responded to a call nearly three weeks ago at his Tempe home that he had shot himself, according to police reports released Wednesday that offer a new theory on how the former prisons boss was injured.

Police say Ryan, who is accused of pointing a gun at two officers Jan. 6 during a three-hour standoff, slurred his words and was antagonistic to a police negotiator. Police say Ryan didn’t know why officers were at his home or what happened to his injured hand. Ryan also told police that he didn’t remember pointing a gun at officers and acknowledged drinking tequila that evening, though he said he had just two shots.

While police initially said Ryan had a self-inflicted gunshot wound to one of his hands, police now say the injury was caused by a less-than-lethal projectile shot by police after Ryan pointed a handgun at officers. They say the projectile was revealed during surgery.

Police also now say the injury that led Ryan’s wife to call police was a 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) cut to his forehead that was likely caused by bullet fragmentation that occurred when an unintentional firearm discharge struck a sink in the bathroom. Police also said Ryan told staff at a hospital that the cut was the result of a fall earlier that week, though the injury looked fresh.

Efforts to seek comment on the police reports on behalf of Ryan, who doesn’t have a published phone number, were unsuccessful. Police previously said Ryan was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time.

Ryan’s wife told police that her husband had consumed a half bottle of tequila that day. She told officers that she heard a loud noise and saw that her husband had blood on one of his hands and was bleeding from the head.

She said Ryan didn’t respond when she asked whether he shot himself, according to the reports.

Authorities say officers tried to communicate with Ryan, who remained inside his home. While taking cover behind an open door, Ryan pointed a gun at officers outside, police said. An officer fired a less-than-lethal bean bag round at Ryan’s left hand, which was the only part of his body that was visible to a nearby officer, according to a police report.

Ryan closed the door, continued to refuse to leave his home and later opened the door again, leading to another less-than-lethal round being fired at his left hand. Ryan eventually surrendered, was handcuffed and taken to a hospital.

Ryan hasn’t been booked, even though he was taken into custody.

About 15 guns at Ryan’s home were seized by police.

Police are recommending that prosecutors file felony charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer and unlawful discharge of a firearm against Ryan.

Ryan retired as corrections director in September 2019.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Follow @KTAR923...

KTAR.com

Festival highlighting Arizona’s wildlife, scenery taking place in the Valley this weekend

A festival highlighting Arizona's animals, its landscape and everything in between is taking place in the Phoenix area this weekend.

8 minutes ago

An Arizona Public Service worker wearing a helmet and yellow vest holds a yellow pole while working...

Kevin Stone

Arizona utility regulators approve rate hike for APS, the state’s largest electric company

APS customers will soon see higher bills after regulators approved a rate hike Thursday night for the state's largest electric utility company.

1 hour ago

A nighttime time-elapse photo shows lights streaking across Interstate 10 at US 60 in metro Phoenix...

KTAR.com

Watch for multiple restrictions on metro Phoenix freeways this weekend

Drivers should be on alert for lane restrictions and closures on multiple metro Phoenix freeways this weekend, with an emphasis on the East Valley.

3 hours ago

Follow @KTAR923...

KTAR.com

2 arrested in southern Arizona after drug, firearms discovered at multiple properties

Two people were arrested last week after the discovery of a cache of firearms and drugs on their Arizona properties, authorities said.

4 hours ago

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputies stand guard in front of the Maricopa County Tabulation an...

KTAR.com

California man accused of leaving threatening voicemails for Arizona elections official

A California man was arrested Thursday for allegedly threatening a Maricopa County Recorder's Office official after the 2022 election.

6 hours ago

14th annual Dog Days of Glendale event 2024...

Serena O'Sullivan

Annual Dog Days of Glendale festival returns this weekend

The 14th annual Dog Days of Glendale event will take place at Glendale Landmark School on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Former Arizona prisons director had tequila in system before standoff, police say