YCSO: Prescott man, Joshua Stratford, assaulted family while camping

PHOENIX - Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies arrested a Prescott man after he allegedly assaulted his children's mother, according to an agency press release.

Joshua Stratford, 28, was arrested Saturday after deputies were dispatched to Fossil Creek campgrounds on a domestic violence call.

Deputies came across a vehicle driving away from the campgrounds that contained the victim, her son and two others.

The victim told deputies that Stratford had assaulted her during an argument and had thrown her to the ground, where she hit her head on a rock and temporarily lost consciousness.

When another family member tried to intervene, Stratford allegedly showed a handgun and started shooting in their direction. The group was able to get into the victim's vehicle and flee.

Deputies located Stratford sleeping in his tent and arrested him. He denied having a handgun, and claimed he put the weapon into the victim's vehicle before she drove away.

The victim had told police she saw Stratford toss the gun into the woods, but an initial search of the campsite was unsuccessful. An off-duty deputy camping in the area found the handgun Sunday and submitted it as evidence.

Stratford could face charges of aggravated assault, endangerment, prohibited possession of a firearm and disorderly conduct.

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