Gilbert man accused of assaulting deputies at motocross event

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Alec Santacruz By Christina O'Haver Alec Santacruz By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. -- A Gilbert man is facing aggravated assault charges after he allegedly tried to punch and head-butt Pinal County Sheriff's deputies at a motocross event.

An off-duty deputy was working security at ET Motopark Arizona Speedway in San Tan Valley last Saturday night when a citizen reported that an intoxicated man had fallen over in her camp.

The uniformed deputy contacted 21-year-old Alec Santacruz and offered to help him find his friends, according to the sheriff's office.

After the two searched for several minutes, Santacruz reportedly told the deputy that his friends would not talk to him if they saw him with law enforcement.

According to the sheriff's office, Santacruz began yelling and approaching the deputy aggressively. He allegedly refused to obey commands to back away and tried to punch the deputy in the face.

Santacruz was taken into custody and placed in the back of a patrol vehicle. He was taken out of the vehicle for a search when additional deputies arrived.

Santacruz allegedly began struggling with the deputies and had to be placed in ankle restraints due to kicking.

He then tried to a head-butt a deputy as he was placed back inside the vehicle, according to the sheriff's office.

He reportedly continued yelling and behaving aggressively while he was transported to the Pinal County Jail, where he was booked on two counts of aggravated assault against a police officer.

Deputies also learned Santacruz had an outstanding warrant out of Mesa for failure to pay for minor in possession of liquor with a bond of $500.

“What undoubtedly was intended as a night out and fun with friends clearly ended very differently for this young man," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement. "Deputies attempted to help him, and instead he became aggressive and violent against our deputies. He now faces two very serious felony counts.”