Brent Ruggles

At this Peoria home on North 86th Avenue, Brent Ruggles allegedly strangled and beat his girlfriend. Outside the same home, he shot and killed a man in 2012 but was found not guilty of murder. 

Glendale police officers arrested Brent Ruggles Nov. 23, 2018, in a backyard on West Quail Avenue in North Glendale. The residents said Ruggles was their daughter’s ex-boyfriend. In the police report, Ruggles said he stole a bicycle but came back to return it.

The daughter told police she broke up with Ruggles “due to domestic violence incidents.” She also said she told Ruggles “numerous times not to come to her residence.”

Two years later, Ruggles is charged with trying to kill the same woman in a Peoria home 5 miles from the Glendale home.

The Glendale Star is not publishing the name of the victim, who will be identified in this story by her initials, J.S.

On Nov. 10, police responded to the Peoria home after his brother called 911, stating Brent Ruggles “was being violent and threatening him,” according to court documents.

During the 911 call, the brother said he saw Brent Ruggles striking the woman with a vodka bottle and heard J.S. crying and pleading “please stop!”

The brother provided home-security videos to police of Brent Ruggles dragging J.S. into a spare bedroom, locking the door and beating her. 

“You’re dying right now! You’re dying right now, you hear?” Brent Ruggles allegedly screamed at J.S. 

A police report with transcription of the recording states Brent Ruggles taunted the victim, telling her he would kill her when police arrived: “You’re going to die when they get here. You can die now or you can die later, when do you want to die?” 

The brother told police Brent Ruggles kept demanding that J.S. leave, but every time she attempted to, he knocked her down.

When police arrived, J.S. was able to run out of the house. 

Ruggles refused repeated commands to leave the home and barricaded himself inside.

At 2:42 a.m. Nov. 11, police broke down the door, entered the home and arrested the 40-year-old Ruggles, who did not resist. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of a swollen right hand.

By then, J.S. had been treated at a hospital for a broken nose, sprained wrist and head lacerations that required staples and stitches.

She told police Ruggles strangled her and beat her, causing her to lose consciousness. 

She was taken to the Glendale Advocacy Center for a forensic exam.

J.S., a graduate of Deer Valley High School, told a detective Ruggles previously threatened her with a gun, cut her with a knife and used a Taser and Mace on her. 

She said that during the Nov. 10 assault she thought Ruggles would kill her.

According to court documents, the fight started because Ruggles was in a bad mood over not being able to get his computer to work.

The Peoria home where Ruggles allegedly beat and strangled the woman is on North 86th Avenue, a quiet street south of West Bell Road.

It was not the first time the normally pacific street was filled with police lights and ambulance sirens.

At 3:49 a.m. March 3, 2012, Peoria dispatch received a 911 call from a female outside a residence on the 16100 block of North 86th Avenue, reporting that a man had just been shot.

Officers found 21-year-old Zachary Balogh of Peoria in the street with multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

A second 911 call about a man in a backyard led to the arrest of Ruggles.

He was charged with shooting Balogh and pointing a gun at two others in Balogh’s car.

According to the police report in the 2012 killing of Balogh, Ruggles stole 50 firearms from a residence in Flagstaff, then attempted to trade them for heroin and money.

Ruggles told police he and Balogh had been doing business selling drugs but had a falling out. He told police he shot Balogh after they struggled for a gun Ruggles was holding when Balogh came to Ruggles’ home and threatened him.

A jury found Ruggles not guilty of second-degree murder and aggravated assault in June 2013.

But Ruggles’ trouble with the law was far from over.

In 2017, Ruggles was convicted of trafficking in stolen property and served about half of a 30-month sentence.

On Nov. 23, 2018, he was arrested again on burglary charges. He later accepted a deal dropping several charges with the admission of guilt for possessing burglary tools.

He was released from prison April 13, 2019.

Seven months later, he was arrested and charged with vehicle theft. He made an initial court appearance Sept. 26, with a hearing scheduled for Friday, Nov. 20.

Ruggles now also has a preliminary hearing Thursday, Nov. 19, on a dozen charges, including attempted murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping.