BY LINDA BENTLEY | MARCH 28, 2012
Freeman drives truck into mule on Sorchych’s property
‘Freeman left his house to intentionally harass us.
He intentionally hit Fisher’s mule. He had plenty
of room to go around.’
Photo by Linda Bentley
CAVE CREEK – Sonoran News Publisher/Editor Don Sorchych thought things couldn’t get any worse with his neighbor Gerald Freeman. But they have.
Freeman has been suing Sorchych for the past six years seeking reimbursement for his elaborate road maintenance costs and claiming he has exclusive rights to the use of an easement on Sorchych’s property to get to his house.
After Sorchych deeded that strip of land as a gift to the town, at the town’s invitation, Freeman threatened to drag the town of Cave Creek into a lawsuit, causing a split council to vote to rescind the deed of gift.
On Sunday, March 25, former Councilman Terry Smith, Val Rae Wenderoth and John Fisher were out on horseback scouting an alternative trail connection in an area where Cave Creek Trails Coordinator Bambi Muller said there were connection problems “due to a cliff.”
While the trio was stepping off the trail back onto the road, Smith said they were careful to enter the road on Sorchych’s property, where they knew they had permission.
The next thing they knew, Freeman jumped in his Chevy pickup truck and drove down from his house and, according to Wenderoth, deliberately drove his truck into the back of Fisher’s mule, causing the mule’s hind legs to give out.
Smith said he turned around and saw Fisher’s mule “sitting on the ground.”
Smith said he pulled his horse over to the right side of the road when he saw Freeman coming down the road, “probably to harass us,” while Wenderoth said Freeman had plenty of room to drive around them.
According to Smith, Freeman didn’t acknowledge anything Fisher, Smith or Wenderoth asked him about running into Fisher’s mule. He just jumped out of his truck waiving some papers he had in his hand.
Smith said Freeman was taking a lot of pictures and he and Wenderoth both heard him say something to the effect of, “Take these papers. You’re under arrest.”
Smith said they headed back down to Denny Mathison’s property where he had his truck and trailer parked, while Freeman followed.
Freeman kept snapping pictures and stuck the papers, which were subsequently turned over to MCSO, on Smith’s windshield.
“He never said anything else,” said Smith who said he’s surprised at Freeman’s conduct because he’s a horse owner himself.
“He’s a threat to the people of Cave Creek,” said Smith.
According to Wenderoth, when they stepped off the trail onto the road on Sorchych’s property, Fisher told her he saw three people standing outside of Freeman’s barn.
Wenderoth said the minute they set hoof on Sorchych’s property “Freeman left his house to intentionally harass us. He intentionally hit Fisher’s mule,” adding, “He had plenty of room to go around.”
MCSO indicated on Monday Freeman may be facing a felony assault charge.