MARANA, Ariz. –
Dramatic new video shows a Marana, Arizona police officer running down a rifle-wielding suspect with his police cruiser.
The violent collision was caught on the officer’s dash camera. The video is now making national headlines and is re-igniting the debate over police use of force.
The incident happened in February, but the dash camera video was released Tuesday and has since gone viral. The question for some is, did the officer go too far when he ran down the suspect? His police chief doesn’t think so.
“Holy crap, I think were the first words out of my mouth,” said Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema.
Chief Rozema reacted to the actions of one of his officers back in February after that officer took out a suspect wanted for a crime spree with his police cruiser.
Police say the suspect, Mario Valencia stole the gun and ammo from a nearby WalMart, he then began walking down the street, pointing the weapon at police, and threatening to shoot himself.
At one point, Valencia opened fire, shooting into the air.
Police locked down nearby businesses in an industrial area where Coca-Cola and other companies are located.
Officers followed Valencia as he continued walking down the street.
“Unit right there, standoff, stand off, the gun is loaded,” said an officer on a dashcam recording of the incident.
Then an officer, Michael Rapiejko decided that enough was enough.
“That’s not an easy decision right there, that’s a tough decision, but he made it and when the dust settled and everything cleared everybody is in control. Everybody in Coca-Cola and all of our officers are safe. And this man is booked into jail two days later and is able to be held accountable for his crimes,” said Chief Rozema.
Valencia was taken to the hospital where he was treated for two days before being booked into jail on a number of charges.