SAFFORD – Thursday morning authorities were called to the 600 block of Highway 70 around 7:45 am due to a report of several parked cars that had been hit by Kempton Chevrolet. It was reported the suspects vehicle had left the scene and was parked at the Economy Inn.
When the officer arrived at the motel, a deputy was on scene and the officer noticed a vehicle parked on the side of the parking lot with heavy damage to the front end. The deputy had seen the male suspect exit the vehicle and move quickly to the lobby. The officer entered the lobby and asked for the suspect’s I.D. The man reported he did not have a drivers license, and identified himself later as Ismael Malalgah. The officer found his license had been revoked. Malalgah’s brother was found standing in the lobby also, who reported that he had been the one driving. However, the deputy had seen Malalgah getting out of the drivers seat and had been in the car alone. Later the brother reported he knew Malalgah did not have a license and was on probation, and that was why he had said he was the one driving.
When the officer spoke again with Malalgah, he reported that he had a “couple of shots of Jack Daniels” and “he was drunk.” The officer had already noticed his bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and the smell of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. The man agreed to take DUI tests. Afterwards, Malalgah was arrested for aggravated DUI and taken to the Safford Police Department. While he was there, Malalgah reported he had gotten off work that morning in Morenci and drank a couple of shots, and then drove home. When he got to Safford, he went to Burger King to get some food and was on his way home. Malalgah reported he thinks he fell asleep and hit the cars. He stated he was extremely tired, and the officer could see him nodding off as they were speaking to him.
Charges are pending the results from the blood draw that was taken. Malalgah was given a ride and released.