SHOW LOW — Shawn Michael Chock, 35 of White Mountain Lakes, has been charged by the Navajo County Attorney with 20 felony crimes arising from his alleged actions during the 13th annual Bike the Bluff championship road race along the Deuce of Clubs Boulevard on June 19. Chock is presumed by law to be innocent.
On July 2, prosecutors filed a direct complaint against Chock in the Navajo County Superior Court, past press time for Tuesday’s edition of this newspaper. A direct complaint is drafted by prosecutors based on police reports and witness statements which establish probable cause for charges. The other way felony criminal cases begin is by an indictment decided upon by a grand jury after being presented with evidence by the prosecutor. Navajo County uses a grand jury on serious felony cases and it is probable that the direct complaint will be “superceded” by a grand jury indictment in the near future. In this case, a superior court judge would have reviewed the direct complaint and signed a warrant for Chock’s arrest which landed Chock in the Flagstaff jail.
For now, the complaint alleges ten counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. Arizona law considers a vehicle to be a deadly weapon when used as alleged in this case. It is curious that nine of the ten aggravated assault charges are listed as Class 3 Felonies, but one is listed as a Class 2 felony which is more serious. Chock is also charged with nine counts of leaving the scene of a collision involving serious injury, also Class 3 Felonies, and one count of unlawful flight from law enforcement, a Class 5 Felony.
According to Arizona’s sentencing laws, if Chock is found guilty of the offenses thus-far charged, he faces decades in prison in what could be in essence a life sentence for this 35 year old man.
The case started when hundreds of cyclists, some from across the country planned to participate in a race involving 11 categories, and included men and women of all ages. The race was scheduled to start in Show Low and proceed through Linden, then to Taylor and back to Show Low for a total of 58 miles. Last year’s race was cancelled because of the pandemic.
But at approximately 7:25 that morning, Chock for reasons still unknown, allegedly drove a Ford Super Duty pick up truck into a crowd of 40 to 50 cyclists in front of the Horne Collision Center. Witnesses reported that the driver appeared to do so deliberately. Chock then reportedly crashed into a power pole, fled the scene and ended up getting shot apparently by law enforcement officers through the driver’s side window of the truck. The truck came to rest at a dead end of Oliver Street, along a fence behind the Native Grill Restaurant.
Show Low residents reported a temporary electrical outage later in that day. Near 1:30 p.m. that afternoon, Arizona Public Service acknowledged the outage and pledged to have power restored by 4:39 p.m. Power was back on a little after 3:00 p.m. according to a Show Low resident. It has not been confirmed that the outage was caused by the collision of the truck with the pole.
In total, seven persons including Chock were hospitalized; six in Arizona and one in New Mexico. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is handling the investigation, and DPS Media Specialist Bart Graves told the Independent that he believes that six of the most seriously injured are still in the hospital as of Wednesday. Chock is in the Coconino County jail in Flagstaff. He went through intake there after press time on Friday, July 2, according to Meg Miller of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
It is unknown why he is not being housed in the Navajo County Jail. It could be that because the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office is not leading the investigation (DPS is) or maybe Chock’s gunshot wound or wounds require medical observation available in Flagstaff, or maybe Chock was placed away from Show Low and Holbrook for his own safety. Whatever the reason, he is being held there on a $500,000 bond.
Regarding past criminal history, court records in Maricopa County Superior Court stated that a Shawn Michael Chock, the same age as the suspect in the bike race incident, pleaded guilty to an aggravated (felony) DUI on November 10, 2010 in that court. It was alleged to have been his third DUI offense.
There is no new court date for Chock posted yet.