Several attendees of a June 4 event of the United Republicans of Green Valley / Sahuarita tried to convince a Democratic activist to leave the private affair before a melee broke out after a female attendee was pushed by the man, according to public records obtained by Arizona Daily Independent.
The 15-page incident report released Friday by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department shows Peter Jackson arrived at the pay-to-enter event at the Continental Shopping Plaza around 4:40 pm. He was wearing a “Jail Trump” hat and Black Lives Matter t-shirt, and has admitted he was prepared to be a disruptive presence.
But some verbal sparring between Jackson, 73, and several attendees quickly turned physical, leaving Jackson with a June 23 court date at Pima County Justice Court 7 after being cited for simple assault and criminal trespassing. The trespassing charge stems from Jackson’s refusal to leave the event when asked to do so by several people within the first three minutes of his arrival.
Meanwhile, the assault charge is based on a complaint by a woman at the event who told deputies Jackson pushed or touched her shoulder after which she pushed back. The woman claimed Jackson then “struck” her with his right hand in which he was holding a camera.
A number of eyewitnesses to the assault spoke with deputies, according to the report. In addition, the woman allowed deputies to view her cellphone video of the incident.
Deputy J.L. Thomas noted in the report that there was some physical contact between the woman and Jackson, but with the woman’s camera pointed at Jackson there was no direct view of the woman. The chain of events was partially determined by deputies based in part by the movement of the woman’s camera.
They also considered statements made by the eyewitnesses, which includes a current PCSD deputy and two former peace officers.
Regardless of who touched who first, the melee did not last long after other attendees moved in to protect the woman. U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters, who had been on the other side of the room, rushed to the woman’s defense and was involved in taking Jackson to the floor. Jackson was then removed to a hallway area to await deputies.
But when deputies asked Jackson for proof of his identity, he did not show them a driver’s license. It was in his car, said Jackson, who showed a Green Valley Recreation card instead. Had he presented the driver’s license, deputies may have learned Jackson is a convicted sex offender for the 2000 sexual assault of his daughter in Hawaii.
READ MORE ABOUT JACKSON: HERE
The PCSD report notes three deputies were dispatched to what was initially described as a trespass with an intruder. The call was quickly upgraded when multiple people called to report the assault.
“Upon our arrival to the second floor, we observed a crowd of people standing outside of (the unit) with one male subject lying on the floor,” Deputy J. Tun wrote in his portion of the report. “After the male subject lying down on the floor was helped to his feet, it was observed that he had scratches on his knees and some redness around his neck area.”
Tun also noted that emergency medical personnel determined Jackson might need to be transported to a hospital but he declined, and signed a waiver.
At one point Jackson was advised of his Miranda Rights. He told the deputies he was not the aggressor, and that he had been hit first, in the chest, so he pushed the woman because he feared getting hit again.
Eventually Jackson was escorted downstairs to the patrol vehicle of Deputy Thomas. The deputies conferred with a legal advisor before citing Jackson on the two misdemeanor counts and directing him to not return to the area. The woman was provided victim rights information under Arizona law.
The next day, Jackson provided a copy of his video which provided deputies a different vantage point.
But in Jackson’s video, “it is hard to see exactly what happens first,” Thomas wrote, adding that Jackson’s vantage point also makes it difficult to tell who was hit where. What the deputy could tell is that once Jackson was removed from the event, “the scene seemed to calm down.”
Unfortunately, the report is not clear on whether deputies sought and looked at cellphone video from other attendees. Those extra videos may have filled in the blanks of who did what for those times when the woman’s and Jackson’s videos do not provide a clear view of what occurred.
In addition, the videos may have provided exculpatory evidence for those who got involved in the scuffle, including Masters, who is not named one time in the incident report despite his quick action to help neutralize any threat posed by Jackson.