19-year-old arrested in connection with 2022 assault in Gilbert

May 6, 2024, 8:17 AM

Authorities released these images from a 2022 assault in Gilbert in January 2024. An arrest was mad...

Authorities released these images from a 2022 assault in Gilbert. An arrest was made in the case on May 3. (Gilbert Police Department Photos)

(Gilbert Police Department Photos)

PHOENIX – A teenager was taken into custody last week in connection with a 2022 assault in Gilbert, authorities announced, the latest arrest in a string of East Valley youth violence cases.

Clayton Oden, 19, was arrested Friday for his alleged role in an incident near Guadalupe Road and Freestone Parkway, between Lindsey Road and Val Vista Drive, according to the Gilbert Police Department.

Oden was booked on charges of assault, a class 3 misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, a class 1 misdemeanor.

How long have police been investigating Gilbert youth violence case?

The alleged assault occurred in October 2022. It wasn’t reported to police until Dec. 26, 2023, and authorities didn’t know the identity of the victim at the time.

In January, Gilbert police released information, including photos, pertaining to the case and several other assaults and asked the public to help identify the people involved.

Detectives eventually identified and interviewed the victim. Afterward, they identified Oden as a suspect.

Case came to light after Preston Lord’s death

It was one of multiple East Valley youth violence cases that came to light in the wake of the October 2023 beating death of 16-year-old Preston Lord in Queen Creek.

The Gilbert Goons, a group of violent youths, have been implicated in multiple attacks. Police announced last week that the Goons were officially classified as a criminal street gang.

Officials didn’t identify which of the suspects that have been arrested in multiple cases were affiliated with the gang. They also said none of the suspects so far are being charged with criminal street gang offenses.

“Preston Lord’s death has highlighted the issues of teen violence that has affected so many of our communities,” Gilbert Police Chief Michael Soelberg said Thursday while announcing the street gang designation. “That is why this has been a unified effort by our respective law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate these group teen violence cases in each of our jurisdictions.”

Anybody with information about any Gilbert youth violence case is asked to call 480-503-6500 or make an online tip.

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19-year-old arrested in connection with 2022 assault in Gilbert