GRAPHIC VIDEO: Dashcam Shows Ariz. Cop Intentionally Run Over Suspect

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An Arizona police officer rammed into a suspect with his patrol car in February in order to stop the suspect’s alleged crime spree, according to two dashcam videos released by police on Tuesday.

In one of the videos released, a gunshot can be heard as the suspect, Mario Valencia, can be seen walking on a sidewalk in Marana, Ariz.

According to CBS, Marana police said that Valencia had stolen a gun from a Walmart after allegedly robbing a convenience store, setting fire to a church, and breaking into a home and a car.

Officer Michael Rapiejko decided to run into Valencia with his cruiser after police had already allegedly witnessed Valencia threaten to commit suicide and point a gun at his head, according to CBS.

The first dashcam video released is from a police car following Valencia as he walked on a sidewalk. The officer in the car can be heard saying that a shot has been fired. Another police car can then be seen driving past and onto the sidewalk, running into Valencia and then a cement wall.

In the video, the officer in the car can be heard saying, “Jesus Christ! Man down,” as the second cruiser rammed into the suspect.

The second video shows dashcam footage from the car that ran over Valencia as the cruiser rams into the suspect.

Valencia spent two days in the hospital following the incident, and is now in jail, according to CBS. He faces 15 charges, including aggravated assault and armed robbery, according to CNN.

Police defended Rapiejko’s actions by arguing he saved the suspect’s life, since Valencia was suicidal, according to CNN.

Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema said on Tuesday that police needed to stop Valencia before he endangered other people.

“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,” Rozema said on CNN.

“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,” Rozema continued, adding that everyone, including the suspect, were safe.

Watch both dashcam videos released by police via CBS. Be warned, the videos are graphic:

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Notable Replies

  1. The cop thought his cruiser was his taser. Heat of the moment.

  2. I am not a trained law enforcement officer so maybe there’s something I’m missing, but I don’t see the necessity of running over the suspect as it does not appear he was in the immediate harming an innocent person, even preparing to commit suicide. Why not just run up behind him and taze him? That said, yes, it does sound like he needed to be stopped – but to (possibly) seriously maim him forever?

  3. Marana, AZ is sort of a suburb of my home town of Tucson. The guy had a gun and he had fired a round from it. This time it looks like it was a situation where innocent bystanders were under threat and the suspect was getting close to a church… Even so this is a questionable maneuver.

  4. “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,” Rozema continued, adding that everyone,
    including the suspect, were safe.

    Yes. We can learn thing from this. Primarily that police officer training
    has become all but non-existant. So long as a cop has weapon of ANY kind, they’ll use it first and foremost. So long as a cop feels threatened in any way, they’ll use it first and foremost. And no, the suspect is not “safe.”

    They’re no longer police officers trained to protect and serve; they’re now all just a bunch of vigilantes.

  5. He had just fired a round, had put the gun to his head earlier, was pretty brazen walking around with a stolen gun while police circled and knew of multiple things the guy did during the day. This was never going to end well. I doubt this will generate much sympathy from most people.

    The other cops were trying to de-escalate.

    ETA: I’m not justifying this just pointing out that I doubt this will generate much outrage other than the “shock” factor.

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