Man mistaken for intruder arrested on warrant

SAFFORD – Authorities were dispatched to a residence on 3rd Street in Safford at approximately 7:45 a.m. last Saturday in regard to the report of burglary. The reporting party told dispatch that a hispanic male was in found in his residence and went to neighbor’s home when he was discovered. Upon arrival, officers saw a hispanic male, identified as Jaime Rodriguez, known to them through previous encounters, entering the residence next door to to the reporting party. Multiple officers secured the area to prevent the suspect from escaping while an officer talked with the reporting party.

The reporting party said that he went out for a morning walk and left his residence unlocked because he lost his keys. When he came back home, he entered his home and found a man in his living room. The suspect was reportedly hovering over the area where he usually keeps his medications and loose change. The man wasn’t sure if anything had been taken. The man said that he keeps his medications with him because his neighbors have asked for them in the past.

Police made contact with two women in the neighboring residence. They would not open the door, and would only speak to the officers through the screen door. One of the women constantly interrupted the officer and bluntly told him that the man Rodriguez was not there and that the officers could not come in and look. The woman claimed that she had not seen Rodriguez for a long time.

One of the officers went back to talk to the reporting party again. As they were speaking, Rodriguez came out of the neighboring residence and walked toward the officers. He was taken into custody for the outstanding warrant. Upon seeing Rodriguez, the elderly man who reported the burglary said the he did not believe he was the man he saw in his residence.

While Rodriguez was being secured in a patrol vehicle one of the women in the neighboring residence came out and made snide remarks about the burglary victim, calling him and old man and saying that he takes too many pills to know what had happened. According to the police report the woman’s behavior, movements and speech pattern was erratic. She denied any drug use. Rodriguez kept telling the woman to “shut up” and told officers that when she uses meth she can’t quit.

Rodriguez denied being in the elderly man’s residence and said that he didn’t know who was.