Tempe mayor's son hospitalized after altercation on A Mountain

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TEMPE – The son of Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman is in the hospital after an apparent late-night altercation on "A" Mountain in Tempe.

The initial call was about somebody who might have fallen, but according to police, they now believe the situation was an assault.

While Tempe police have kept tight lipped about what they're finding, they did confirmed that Eli Hallman, 18, was badly hurt and taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center.

Hallman, a freshman at Arizona State University, suffered a broken jaw and some lacerations on his face. While not life-threatening, the jaw injury does require surgery. That surgery will take place Thursday afternoon. At last check, Hallman was listed in stable condition.

"My son will make a full recovery," Mayor Hallman said.

Tempe police Sgt. Steve Carbajal said they were able to talk to Eli briefly before his surgery.

"We're still trying to get to the bottom of exactly what happened out here this morning," Carbajal said.

Mayor Hallman said his son was rock climbing on "A" Mountain by himself beginning at 10 PM. Tempe police received the 911 call at around 2 AM Thursday morning. Mayor Hallman said it's not unusual for his son to go rock climbing after dark. He often waits until the sun goes down on especially hot days.

The mayor said his son, somewhat dazed from the head trauma, was able to make it back to a dorm.

"That's where individuals intervened to assist him and called 911," the mayor explained.

At this point, investigators do not have any suspects in the incident. They hope to learn more after talking to Hallman again.

Detectives are keeping what little information they have to themselves right now.

Mayor Hallman also declined to comment on any specific details about the incident except to say that police are treating it as an assault investigation at the moment.

"I'm not going to compromise the investigation," he said, also stating that he was grateful for the community's concern and support.

While Mayor Hallman said his son was climbing solo, it's not known how many other people might have been on the mountain when the young man was apparently assaulted.

While there was no search for a suspect, there was a significant police presence at "A" Mountain at about 6:30 a.m.

The entrance to the trail at the base of A Mountain was roped off with yellow crime-scene tape and officers on the scene were turning away hikers. The mountain was reopened to hikers by 7:30 a.m.

The investigation is ongoing.

The police activity in the area of College Avenue and Veterans Way reportedly caused some delays to Light Rail Service, but it is catching up.

Thursday is the first day of classes at ASU.