Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for October 13, 2010
Law enforcement officer shooting - a nightmare from the past
Kane County Deputy Brian Harris’ tragic murder served as a somber reminder to many residents of another area law enforcement officer’s death in May of 1983.
During the hunt for Brian Harris’ killer, a woman named Nancy called dispatch to express her concern for the Harris family. Nancy was well-acquainted with the heartbreak of losing someone serving in a law enforcement capacity. Her husband Coconino County Deputy Mike Young was killed in May of 1983 in Fredonia. Kanab City Police Chief Tom Cram returned the call and visited with her.
According to a Southern Utah News account, Coconino County Deputy Mike Young was serving an arrest warrant on Wednesday, May 25, 1983, to Ralph Mann, 43, at a trailer park on 200 Main Street in Fredonia. The warrant was a misdemeanor failure to comply with court order and probation violation out of the Page Arizona Justice Court.
Young was accompanied by Fredonia Town Deputy Marshal Mark Johnson and Arizona DPS officer Keith Judd. People nearby told the officers they didn’t think Mann was in the trailer, but the officers believed he was. Johnson and Young went inside, with Judd waiting nearby outside in case Mann ran.
They began checking rooms, and were nearing the end of the trailer. The suspect stepped out from the opposite end of the trailer and began firing his gun at the officers. Deputy Young was standing behind Deputy Johnson. Johnson was wounded on the right side in the rib area and went down. The suspect continued firing his weapon until he had emptied it.
Deputy Young was shot numerous times - with a fatal result. Johnson called Keith Judd, who was outside the door. Judd checked for vital signs, but Deputy Young was deceased.
The suspect was then checked for vital signs, but was dead at the scene as well. The entire shooting lasted a little more than five seconds. Young had been shot four times, once fatally in the head, according to Coconino County Sheriff Joe Richards.
Mann had a prior criminal record. He had been convicted in Nevada in 1966 for felony, theft and forgery. He received the maximum sentence in 1976, for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. That conviction was after a fight outside a Reno bar where he shot another subject.
Formerly employed by Kaibab Industries as a logger, he supposedly lived in the Fredonia area off and on for about two years.
Young had met Mann before when he transported him from the Kane County Jail to Page, AZ, for appearance in the Justice Court. Mann had been arrested in March near the Cliff Dweller’s Lodge and charged with shoplifting, driving while intoxicated and supplying alcohol to a minor. He was sentenced to 60 days in the Kane County Jail on a work release program.
Kanab City Police Chief Tom Cram worked for Kane County in 1983. “I was working at the jail at the time, and he (Mann) was on work release,” said Cram. “He could work during the day, and then was housed at the jail at night.” Mann didn’t show up at the jail at the required 5 p.m., one day, so law enforcement started looking for him. Mann was found at the Buckskin Tavern and arrested.
Mann had been arrested in Kanab on May 3, 1983, then taken to Page. He walked away from justice court there, with accounts being that he crawled out a bathroom window. He had been missing until Wednesday, May 25, when law enforcement became suspicious that he was in Fredonia.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc., Young’s prior law enforcement service had been for the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, the Coolidge, AZ Police Department, and the Yavapai County AZ Sheriff’s Department. After his death, a fire department in Black Canyon City, AZ was named the Mike Young Memorial Fire Department.
Young was survived by wife Nancy, and two children Lisa and Michelle from a previous marriage.