SAN TAN VALLEY — A 19-year-old man was arrested by sheriff’s deputies after he was found sleeping on a park bench in possession of drugs and a loaded gun near where children were boarding a school bus.

Shannon Ballard was arrested by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Friday for possession of LSD and a defaced weapon in San Tan Valley.

Deputies were called to Maravilla Park at 6:35 a.m. on a report of a suspicious person lying on a park bench. Officers found an unconscious man lying on the bench as children were boarding a school bus in front of the park that morning.

As deputies approached the unconscious man they saw a small silver handgun lying next to him, according to the probable cause statement filed in court records.

“Deputies at the scene announced themselves clearly multiple times in full uniform; however, Shannon (Ballard) appeared unconscious and unresponsive,” court records state.

Deputies were able to secure the weapon and awaken Ballard. Deputies reported that he “became aggressive, ignored multiple commands to put his arms behind his back and became combative,” a deputy wrote in the probable cause statement.

Deputies discovered the firearm was loaded and they quickly suspected that Ballard was under the influence of an “unknown substance.”

Deputies said Ballard appeared to be very lethargic and he was transported to the Pinal County jail.

Deputies requested that he be held on “no less than $100,000 because of a loaded firearm near a school bus stop.”

Ballard has no known address according to court records and deputies consider him a high flight risk.

Pinal County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Wharton set a $10,000 bond in his case. He is charged with possession/use of drug paraphernalia, aggravated assault, possession/use of dangerous drugs-LSD, two counts of misconduct involving weapons and endangerment.

The handgun was allegedly defaced, according to court records, and that could result in a federal charge.

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