Tags: cop | hits | suspect | car | arizona

Cop Hits Suspect With Car to Subdue Him in Incident Caught on Video

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 02:02 PM

A dashcam video showing a Marana, Arizona, cop hitting an armed suspect with his car is the latest police-related incident to draw nationwide scrutiny.

The incident occurred February 19 when two cop cars were following 36-year-old Mario Valencia, who allegedly fired a round into the air with a rifle, CNN reported. Valencia is accused of stealing the rifle from Walmart earlier that day.

One cop car is seen following the suspect when a second zooms past and hits him from behind before running into a cinderblock wall.

Police Chief Terry Rozema defended the actions of the officer, identified as Michael Rapiejko.

"If we're going to choose between maybe we'll let him go a little bit farther and see what happens, or we're going to take him out now and eliminate any opportunity he has to hurt somebody, you're going to err on the side of, in favor of the innocent people. Without a doubt," Rozema said, according to CNN.

But Valencia’s attorney, Michelle Cohen-Metzger, disagreed.

"Everything in the video seems to point towards an obvious excessive use of force. It is miraculous that my client isn't dead," Cohen-Metzger said.

Valencia was taken to University of Arizona Medical Center, where he stayed for two days before being booked into jail, Tucson News Now reported.

The suspected allegedly pointed the rifle at his head multiple times and threatened suicide, the station reported. Rozema said Rapiejko’s actions may have saved the suspect’s life.

Police were investigating whether Valencia was involved in an earlier crime spree in Tuscon, which included a theft at a convenience store, a small fire at the Tucson Baptist Temple, a home invasion, and a car theft, Tucson News Now said.

Valencia allegedly aimed the loaded weapon at an officer before firing it into the air, NBC News reported.

Rapiejko was placed on paid leave for three days before returning to duty, the network said.

Valencia is being held at Pima County Jail and faces charges including armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, arson, burglary, shoplifting, and theft.

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A dashcam video showing a Marana, Arizona, cop hitting an armed suspect with his car is the latest police-related incident to draw nationwide scrutiny.
cop, hits, suspect, car, arizona
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2015-02-15
Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 02:02 PM
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