Man assaulted while riding bike

SAFFORD – Authorities were dispatched on Thursday around noon in relation to a fight occurring on the corner of 9th Street and 5th Avenue. When an officer arrived on scene, the victim stated the suspect had fled on foot. A citizen called dispatch who reported hearing the victim yelling for the suspect to get away from him. The witness stated they saw the suspect attack the victim, knocking him to the ground and hitting him. When the suspect fled, the witness gave chase while on the phone with dispatch. Officers were able to locate the suspect a few blocks away, and was identified by the witness.

An ambulance was called to treat the victim who sustained lacerations to his face. The victim stated to authorities he was riding his bike to the City of Safford Library where his daughter was taking online classes. After the victim passed 5th Avenue, a man came out from behind a parked semi trailer and knocked him off his bike. The man then proceeded to assault him, hitting him in the face and head. Both lacerations the man received required stitches and it was later learned at the hospital the victim also had a torn bicep muscle to his arm, which would possibly need to be surgically repaired.

The suspect officers had in custody was identified as Juan Rodriguez Garcia. Garcia had been a suspect in two recently reported assaults. When Garcia was asked what had happened, he stated, “I messed up.” Garcia reportedly told authorities that he was walking with the individual on the bike and the individual was done talking so he pushed him down. When asked about assaulting the victim, Garcia stated that something just told him to, and that he messed up.

Garcia was transported to the Graham County Jail and booked on aggravated assault, assault and disorderly contact charges. The victim advised authorities he wished to press charges to the fullest extent.