BURRO CREEK – A Wikieup man is in jail after he allegedly shot at kayakers on Burro Creek Saturday.
Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Danny Eugene Button, 66, for three counts of unlawful imprisonment, three counts of kidnapping, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and three counts of endangerment, all felonies.
According to sheriff’s spokeswoman Trish Carter, deputies responded to the Burro Creek Campgrounds near U.S. Highway 93 around 3:30 p.m. regarding gunshots. The deputies talked to two men who said they were in a group of four from Flagstaff kayaking down the creek.
The men said they were about a mile downstream from the campgrounds when they heard a gunshot and saw an elderly man (later identified as Button) standing on the bank of the creek with a gun. The victims said Button fired four more rounds, one of which hit the water.
The lead kayaker was about 75 yards ahead of the group when he swiftly began paddling away. Button reportedly ordered the remaining three kayakers out of the water at gunpoint. The remaining kayakers pleaded with Button to release them so they could go see if their friend was injured, but Button allegedly continued to hold them at gunpoint.
He reportedly told them they were on his private property. Button eventually told the remaining three kayakers to grab their boats, walk back to the campgrounds and get off his property. Search and Rescue crews responded and initiated a search for the missing kayaker.
Deputies found Button at his property at about 10 p.m. He reportedly said he was target shooting on his property but also said the kayakers were trespassing.
Button’s .45-caliber Ruger revolver was taken and placed into evidence. He was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Mohave County jail.
Search and Rescue crews located the fourth kayaker, a 47-year-old man, in good health about eight miles south of Burro Creek Campgrounds Sunday at about 10:30 a.m. The victim said he heard a couple of shots before he realized that he was being shot at, purposely rolled his kayak upside down in the water and stayed upside down as long as possible. He rolled back up to hear Button allegedly say “this one is not going to miss.” The kayaker escaped and continued to the group’s planned destination, but said he didn’t make it before sundown and decided to take refuge for the night.
Sheriff’s deputies confirmed that property owners do not have the rights to the waterways. Button was additionally charged with disorderly conduct with a weapon, endangerment and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, felonies.