Hitchhiker shot on U.S. 93

Dispute started when he allegedly threw a rock at a car

DOLAN SPRINGS - A California hitchhiker got a ride to the hospital Wednesday after he was shot on U.S. 93 near Dolan Springs.

Gilbert Garcia was taken by helicopter to Kingman Regional Medical Center with a bullet wound to the leg after a motorist shot him during an altercation.

The man was not arrested and it will be up to Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith to determine of charges should be filed.

According to Mohave County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Trish Carter, Garcia, 34, and a woman were hitchhiking southbound on the highway near milepost 36 at about 3:40 p.m. when Arizona resident Harley Dressler, 57, slowed to drive around the pair and Garcia allegedly threw a rock at his vehicle.

Dressler reportedly stopped and told Garcia not to come near him and that he was dialing 911.

Garcia allegedly continued to walk toward Dressler and he reportedly put his hand in his pocket. At that time, Dressler pulled out a .380-caliber handgun and shot Garcia once in the thigh.

At the time, an unidentified federal law enforcement officer driving north spotted Dressler with the weapon in his hand and Garcia on the ground. The officer stopped and detained the three people until deputies and officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety arrived on scene.

Firefighters from the Lake Mohave Ranchos Fire Department treated Garcia's wound and a DPS helicopter crew flew the man to KRMC.

Dressler was interviewed and released by detectives, who referred the case to the county attorney's office.

The handgun was confiscated.

Garcia's wound was not life-threatening, said Carter.