APACHE JUNCTION — An Apache Junction man is facing charges after allegedly hitting a woman in the nose.

According to Pinal County Superior Court records, Rafael J. Gastelum, 31, is facing charges of domestic violence aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

At 12:25 a.m. on Feb. 1, Apache Junction Police officers responded to a call from a woman saying she believed Gastelum had hit a family member and broken her nose.

Officers met the injured woman on the front porch of her apartment in the 400 block of East 10th Avenue. The woman appeared afraid and started to cry.

She told officers that she had been driving home with Gastelum when they got into an argument and he had punched her in the nose. She said she sent a text message with a photo of her face to a family member.

She told officers that Gastelum got angry when he found out that she had texted the family member and punched her several times in the face. She could not remember how many times she had been punched. The officer noted swelling and bruising around the woman’s nose.

The woman said she feared for her safety if Gastelum was released and said the two had a history of domestic incidents.

Officers found Gastelum lying on a bed in a bedroom in the apartment. When they attempted to frisk him, Gastelum allegedly became argumentative, yelling at officers and resisting their attempts to take him into custody.

Officers noted Gastelum’s speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and watery. They also noted a strong smell of alcohol coming from him.

Gastelum told officers that nothing physical had happened between the woman and himself. The two had gotten into an argument at a family member’s home because a family member had accused him of putting his hands on his kids and because the kids hadn’t eaten yet.

Gastelum allegedly started to resist again, pulling away when an officer attempted to walk him to a patrol vehicle. A second officer had to assist the first officer when Gastelum resisted, causing the officers to drag him toward the patrol vehicle.

He then allegedly resisted getting in the vehicle. When officers got him into the vehicle, he started to push against the patrol vehicle’s door with his feet, preventing officers from closing the door, according to reports.

Officers moved Gastelum to a different patrol vehicle and transported him to the Pinal County jail.


Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at sadams@pinalcentral.com.