Back in 2017, Canoe & Kayak contributor Tyler Williams was paddling down Arizona’s Burro Creek when 68 year-old Danny Eugene Button opened fired on him with a pistol.
Related: THE INCIDENT AT BURRO CREEK
Williams would ultimately paddle to safety while his river partners were temporarily held at gunpoint. Button was ultimately arrested later that night.
The story is definitely worth a read, but what the incident has since highlighted is the important debate regarding waterways that flow through private land and the public’s use of them. From state to state, waterway laws vary tremendously and conflicts between landowners and those floating downstream continue to get worse with Williams’ tale being the latest flash point.
“I will say that on most rivers of [Arizona], respectful and kind behavior exists between paddlers and adjacent land owners.” – Tyler Williams (*Quote courtesy of Canoe & Kayak)
However the judge in charge of the Button case is hoping to squash any future conflicts by simply handing down a fierce judgement that avoids establishing precedent. The sentence in question could keep the accused locked up for the remainder of his life reports Canoe & Kayak.
In March of this year, Button was convicted on multiple felony counts including aggravated assault and disorderly conduct with a deadly weapon. He is currently sentenced to 22 years in prison although he was not convicted for second-degree murder.
The judicial decision disappointed Williams, who was hoping to get some legal language concerning waterway rights in Arizona cemented into state law– not imprison a wily and most certainly dangerous old curmudgeon like Button.
Find the full Canoe and Kayak article here: Arizona man who shot at kayakers sentenced to 22.5 years in prison