Cottonwood man accused of threatening store employees with meat tenderizer

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Jason R. Thrift By Jennifer Thomas Jason R. Thrift By Jennifer Thomas

COTTONWOOD, Ariz. – A Cottonwood man is accused of threatening people at a Prescott Valley supermarket with a hammer-like meat tenderizer.

Jason R. Thrift, 34, was booked into the Yavapai County Jail for three counts of aggravated assault, three counts of disorderly conduct, three counts of threatening and intimidating, and one count of shoplifting.

Prescott Valley police officers responded to a report of a man running through the store's parking lot with a meat cleaver and threatening people Monday afternoon, according to spokesman Sgt. Brandon Bonney.

Two store employees told police that Thrift approached them with the tenderizer and raised it in a threatening manner. He reportedly told the employees that he would kill them if they didn't give him back his 18-month-old child and wife, according to Bonney.

The employees said they did not have any knowledge of his family. They told police that Thrift made references to an open area above the dairy section and told them he knew they were keeping her there.

The suspect eventually left after having contact with a third employee, who was an outside distributor, in the store.

No one was injured.

Police located and stopped Thrift's vehicle in the area.

It is believed that Thrift took the meat tenderizer from the store and used it during the incident.

When officers interviewed Thrift he made statements that he was fearful that his spouse's father took her and the child.