Original article no longer available
East Arizona Courier
August 26, 2003
By Aimee Staten , Assistant Editor
Ann Tracy, Ph.D., Executive Director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness, spoke to the wife of the perpetrator and was told that the ‘anger’ medications were Prozac and Vicodin.
It took four police officers to pin down Jay Carl Higgins Jr. of Pima after he attacked two Safford Police officers when he was stopped for running a red light Aug. 16.
Safford Officer Danny Bodine saw a light blue Volkswagen speed through a left turn off Discovery Park Boulevard onto Hwy. 191 at 11:30 p.m. Soon after that, a maroon Nissan ran the red light in pursuit of the first car. Bodine pulled both cars over and approached the two cars.
At the same time, Higgins stepped out of the Nissan, walked up to the Volkswagen and began to cuss at the four teenagers inside.
Although Higgins was warned repeatedly to step away from the Volkswagen, he continued to cuss at the occupants and then at the officer. Then he punched the back window of the car with his fist.
Bodine finally convinced Higgins to return to his car. He told officers he had been at the Graham County Fairgrounds previously when a young man in a light brown truck began spinning his tires, throwing gravel and dirt on Higgins’ new model car.
“He said he knew the kids in the Volkswagen knew the driver of the truck,” Bodine wrote in his report. He claimed he wanted them to tell him the truck-driver’s name.
The driver of the Volkswagen said Higgins tried to run his car off the road after leaving the fairgrounds, so he tried to outrace him. The teenage driver attempted to shake Higgins from his tail when he turned onto Discovery Park Boulevard, then turned around and headed back to the highway. That was about the time the police became involved.
Sgt. Jason Dolan and officers Wayne West and W. Wren arrived to back up Bodine soon after the officer persuaded Higgins to return to his car. Higgins told the officers he was on several anger medications.
When West told him that “maybe he shouldn’t be driving,” according to Wren’s report, Higgins jumped from the car and began shouting.
“He said maybe we should just kill him,” Wren wrote in his report. Higgins then punched a window on the door of his car and charged at West, hitting him in the chest with his fist.
One of the officers shouted that he was under arrest, then Sgt. Dolan started toward him. Higgins tried to hit the officer, but Dolan ducked under his fist and grabbed his arm.
Higgins continued to throw wild punches at the officers. With a concerted effort, the officers were able to take him to the ground, where he bucked and screamed, at one time lifting himself and all of the officers off the ground.
He was arrested for two counts of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, reckless driving, possession of drug paraphernalia and for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. He was transported to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center where he was treated for cuts, bruises and a broken hand.
He also complained of a previous back injury, which was later attributed to a car accident he was involved in several months ago.
His wife said the other two passengers involved in the car accident were killed and Higgins was in a coma for seven days. After coming out of his coma, Higgins was in physical therapy for five months. Since then, he has been on medication to control his pain and anger.
His wife said Higgins had not taken his anger medication the night of the fight.
Higgins was released from the hospital pending future charges.