WATCH: Arizona Cop Intentionally Hits Armed Man With His Car


Marana police dash camWarning: Graphic Content (Video may be disturbing to some viewers.) On Feb. 19, a Marana police officer used his patrol vehicle to stop an armed man who was allegedly involved in multiple criminal acts across town. The man, later identified by police as Mario Valencia, reportedly stole a rifle from a Marana Walmart store and…2015-04-14T23:45:33.000Z

A Marana, Arizona police officer’s dash camera captured video of the officer running down an armed suspect with his car February 19 in Tucson. Police said the officer intentionally struck the man in an effort to stop a crime spree.

The video shows Officer Michael Rapiejko striking 36-year-old Mario Valencia with his police cruiser in an effort to disarm him. Rapiejko and other officers were responding to a report of a man armed with a shotgun firing into the air. Video shows Valencia holding what appears to be a shotgun.

The video was released April 13, and posted to YouTube by the Arizona Daily Star.

Anofficer can be heard in the video telling other officers who are not wearing bullet-proof vests or carrying proper guns to not go into the area. Rapiejko then accelerates, jumps the curb with his cruiser and strikes Valencia from behind.

Valencia was sent flying into the air, but survived with serious injuries. He was released from the hospital and taken to jail after two days of recovery.

According to CNN, police said Valencia had robbed a convenience store while wearing only his underwear that morning. He also set fire to a church, entered a home and stole a car, and then took a .30-30 rifle and ammunition from a Walmart store. Police from several Arizona cities had chased Valencia from Marana into Tucson, where Rapiejko struck him with the car.

Tuscon Police Chief Terry Rozema told CNN he supports Rapiejko’s maneuver:

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. This officer made a split-second decision, and in retrospect, when all the dust clears, I think we look at this and say, ‘yeah, there’s things we can learn from this.’ But the entire community is safe, all the officers are safe, and even the suspect in this case is safe.

Rozema said Rapiejko’s decision to stop Valencia may have saved the suspect’s life. But Valencia’s attorney, Michelle Cohen-Metzger, disagreed, telling CNN:

Everything in the video seems to point towards an obvious excessive use of force. It is miraculous that my client isn’t dead. I find it ludicrous to say that we’re saving this man’s life whose suicidal by almost killing him.

Valencia faces 15 charges, according to CNN, including aggravated assault, armed robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon by a prohibited possessor. He has a prior record, his attorney said.

1
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x