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SAN TAN VALLEY – A fight over missing cigarettes has led to assault charges against a San Tan Valley man.

According to Pinal County Superior Court records, Santos B. Alvarez, 55, is charged with aggravated assault.

Pinal County Sheriff’s deputies were called out around 2:43 a.m. on Jan. 29 for an assault on an employee at a bar and grill in the 2500 block of East Hunt Highway. The caller reported that the suspect had left the building and was walking toward a nearby gas station.

When deputies arrived they found the employee bleeding from a two inch cut to his temple above his left eye and his mouth. The employee said he was a cook at the bar and grill. He told deputies that Alvarez was drunk and accused him of stealing his cigarettes.

The employee said Alvarez punched him three or four times and then hit him over the head with a metal chair.

Deputies found Alvarez at the gas station talking to someone on a cell phone. He allegedly refused deputies commands to talk with them and refused to be taken into custody. Alvarez allegedly had dried blood on his hands and was heavily intoxicated.

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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.