Teen in full military fatigue arrested while hiking

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SCOTTSDALE - A teen says he was just out for some exercise but it ended with a take-down by police.


Teen dressed in fatigues while hiking arrested - azfamily.com's Marissa Wingate reports a teen went hiking in full military fatigues with a fake gun and prompted women to call 911.

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Some people who saw the hiker dressed in fatigues called 911. On Tuesday night his dad says he was just trying to serve his country.

The dad says it was all a big misunderstanding and likely his son being a little naive.

Police agree they do not believe there was any ill intent on the teen's part, just some poor judgment.

3TV has video of 18-year-old Max Hoemke in handcuffs with Scottsdale police officers surrounding him.

Dan Hoemke is Max's father. He tells 3TV, "He's devastated." Max called him from the mountain. Dan explains, "He said 'Dad,' he said 'I think there's some trouble,' he said 'some people have kind of misinterpreted what's going on."

Max had gone on a hike on sunrise trail just before 6 a.m. but it ended with police patting him down and a couple of female hikers scared of him.

His father says, "Max is a wonderful young man, he's a good student, he earned an ROTC scholarship and from his perspective all he was doing this morning was doing physical training in preparation from training that's going to be starting over the next couple of weeks."

The problem is the recent Desert Mountain graduate was wearing full fatigues and carrying a bag. His dad said he was just trying to simulate what he would encounter in his upcoming military experience.

He says, "This is serious business. I mean, very honestly, my son wants to get a college degree and he wants to serve his country and you know the ROTC scholarship is not a minor deal. You know you are committed to four years of active duty and another four years of reserve duty at a minimum."

Nevertheless Max went so far as to even carry an Air soft rifle, which looks much like a real one but shoots small plastic pellets. While it is not a gun and it is not illegal, it did cause the scared women to call police.

His dad says, "He clearly, certainly wasn't intending to create any confusion and he certainly in his mind wasn't doing anything wrong."

Still his father says he is apologetic. Police did charge him with disorderly conduct.

Police say they charged the teen with disorderly conduct because while they do not think he intended to be a disruption, his family hopes the charge will be dropped.