Home Phoenix Man Charged with Assaulting BIA Officer on Hopi Reservation

Man Charged with Assaulting BIA Officer on Hopi Reservation

U.S. Attorney's Office October 06, 2011
  • District of Arizona (602) 514-7500

FLAGSTAFF, AZ—Mitchell James Karty, 38, of Second Mesa, Ariz., was arrested and charged yesterday with assault on a federal officer and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. He had an initial appearance in federal court in Flagstaff today and will remain in custody pending preliminary and detention hearings set for Tuesday, October 11, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark E. Aspey.

On Wednesday, October 5, 2011, a team of Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Police and Hopi Tribal Officers responded to a domestic dispute on the Hopi Indian Reservation between Karty, the victim and her father. As a Hopi Tribal Officer was transporting one of the victims in the dispute, Karty, armed with a semiautomatic assault rifle, pointed the rifle at the officer’s police vehicle and fired three rounds, shattering the rear window and shooting the engine of the vehicle. A pursuit ensued by BIA officers with pursuing police officers exchanging gunfire with Karty. He later parked his vehicle and fled on foot. Karty eventually surrendered to law enforcement.

A conviction for assault on a federal officer carries a maximum penalty of 20 years, a $250,000 fine or both. A conviction for discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years, a $250,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, the assigned judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence however, any sentence for the firearm charge must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed.

A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Hopi Tribal Police Department. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Schneider and Melissa Karlen, District of Arizona. CASE NUMBER: M-11-4292-MEA RELEASE NUMBER: 2011-227(Karty)