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Bisbee Design Review board member arrested on aggravated assault charge

BISBEE — A member of the Bisbee Design Review Board has been charged with aggravated assault after police said he attempted to run over a parking attendant with his truck during the July 4 festivities.

A seven-page Bisbee Police report also states that Jon Koening Sky, 39, tried to put his hands on the woman’s throat, but instead shoved her.

The woman — whose name was not revealed in the report — told police that she and Sky have had issues in the past, but “it has never escalated this far.”

The incident occurred outside the Bisbee Mining Museum just after 11 a.m., the report states, and a handful of people witnessed the skirmish.

The woman told police that “she was trying to get in front of his vehicle to stop him and Jon proceeded to ‘rev’ his truck and nudge her with the front end and continued to drive her backwards.”

The parking attendant also said that she grabbed onto a decorative flag on the hood of Sky’s Dodge pickup to keep from falling down and “getting run over.” She also told police that Sky tried to grab her throat.

Sky denied the woman’s version of the incident during an interview with the Herald/Review Tuesday. He said he ran over a couple of parking cones and that set her off. He said he never tried to grab her neck.

“The lady came up (to my truck) screaming,” Sky said. “She put her hands on my bumper. I was driving super, super slow.”

Sky said the woman grabbed at the American flags on his vehicle and his cattle guard. He said she also cracked one of his rearview mirrors.

“I just pushed her off my truck,” he said. “I have a really large truck. If I had hit her with my truck, she would be in the hospital.”

According to the police report incident, was sparked by Sky ramming into several cones at the parking lot where the woman was working on July 4. The woman told police that she got in front of Sky’s pickup in an attempt to stop him. At least two witnesses gave police their statements and said they had heard the commotion between Sky and the parking attendant.

Bisbee Police officer Lonnie Loper-Carbajal wrote in his report that when he came upon Sky he was “very irate.” Loper-Carbajal said Sky yelled and the officer then placed him in his patrol car.

Sky told Loper-Carbajal and another officer that he was driving toward the parking attendant at a slow rate of speed “to get her to move out of his way.” Sky also said that he got out of his truck and “pushed her away to get her to move out of the way.”

According to the report, witnesses told police they heard a woman screaming and saw a man “accelerate his work truck into the parking attendant multiple times.”

Sky was booked into the Cochise County Jail. He was released after posting $5,000 bond on July 5, jail officials said. Sky admits he became irate and probably should have been charged with disorderly conduct, not the more serious charge lodged against him.


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Taking flight: Local authorities launch drone programs

TOMBSTONE — With the rise of drone technology, Tombstone Marshal’s Office (TMO) and the Sierra Vista Police Department (SVPD) are implementing unmanned aerial vehicles into their agencies in order help them keep their communities safe.

The Marshal’s Office received their Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration on May 1 which gives them pre-approval to launch their drone for tasks. Bob Randall, the Marshal at TMO, said the drone and having the COA is beneficial for search and rescue missions as well as in tactical situations.

“It’s something that’s been needed,” he said. “If there’s something we need to protect our community then we’ll get it.”

According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, the value of drone activity rose from $40 million in 2012 to roughly $1 billion in 2017.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), “COA is an authorization issued by the Air Traffic Organization to a public operator for a specific UA (unmanned aircraft) activity. After a complete application is submitted, FAA conducts a comprehensive operational and technical review. If necessary, provisions or limitations may be imposed as part of the approval to ensure the UA can operate safely with other airspace users.”

Deputy Marshal and Unmanned Aircraft Systems Coordinator Sean Greene spearheaded the process of getting the COA for the Marshal’s office and says they have two certified pilots and have four others training to take the test.

In the just over two months the office has had the COA, they have launched the drone twice. Randall said it won’t be used in everyday missions, but it will definitely come in handy with search and rescues as they are able to fly 20 to 30 miles, which would cover the entire city of Tombstone and some of the outlying areas.

Greene said the Marshal’s Office does search and rescue operations pretty regularly, especially in the Fairbanks area off State Route 82, as well as finding lost hikers. Randall said they have used the drone in helping Arizona Department of Public Safety find a suspect that bailed out of a car they chased into town.

“It’s not our intention to spy on someone,” Greene said when asked what he want the public to know about the drone. “We have no intention to do so.”

Once SVPD has their COA, they too will use their drone for search and rescue. Lt. Anthony Venditto of SVPD said that due to the elderly population they receive a number of calls related to a missing person. He also stated that a drone will help with finding people who flee crime scenes and the local S.W.A.T. team.

“Having a drone in the sky will allow us to have eyes on the situation and keep our officers safe,” Venditto said.

Venditto has written the proposal and is waiting to have people look over it before he sends it to the FAA. He added that he has five other pilots who need to take the test.

“We want to comply with the FAA (and) want to make sure we follow all of the rules,” he said.


MARK LEVY HERALD/REVIEW  

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