Sedona AZ (July 25, 2012) – On July 7, 2012, a man, later identified as 59-year-old Ricky Donalson, approached a family of five who were sightseeing from out of state. The family included a father, mother, 8 and 11 year old children, and an 18 month old baby being carried by the mother.
As they were getting into their SUV parked at the Turkey Creek Trail head, the family was startled to see the suspect approaching holding a rifle “at the ready” position. For clarification, the Turkey Creek Trailhead is located in a remote area west of the Village of Oak Creek and south southeast of the Red Rock Crossing of Oak Creek.
The suspect demanded to know if the family had started a campfire and the father told him “No,” explaining they had finished a hike and were leaving. The suspect then told them to “get the (expletive) out” as the father moved to shield his son who was in closest proximity to the suspect.
At this point, the suspect shouldered his rifle and pointed the muzzle directly at the father and asked if there was a problem. The father explained that there was no problem and began securing his family in their automobile.
The suspect lowered the muzzle and the father was able to drive away. At this point, the father believed the suspect was going to fire into the vehicle.
Once to a safe area, the father called the Yavapai County Sheriff’s office. The suspect was not immediately located. Within a week, deputies had identified a man matching the description provided by the family. This man’s involvement was confirmed when the father and mother identified Donalson in a photo line-up.
On July 25, 2012 YCSO deputies served a search warrant on a trailer belonging to Donalson and an adjoining residence, both near the trail head. Donalson was arrested and a pellet gun matching the description of the weapon described by the father was recovered.
Donalson claimed no knowledge of the incident. He was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center on five counts of Aggravated Assault, two counts of Assault on Child Under 15, and Reckless Handling of a Weapon. Bond has not been set as of this writing.
Questions about this case or any other may be directed to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s office located at 255 East Gurley Street, Prescott, Arizona 86301 by calling 928-777-7441. Follow the SedonaEye.com for updates.