WATCH: Arizona cops run over rifle-toting suspect because they wanted to ‘save his life’
Police in Marana, Arizona released footage of an officer running a suspect over with his patrol car — which the department said it did to save his life, KOLD-TV reported.
The dashcam video shows Officer Michael Rapiejko maneuvering his vehicle onto a sidewalk and slamming into 36-year-old Mario Miranda Valencia on Feb. 19.
Footage from a separate vehicle shows Valencia walking down a street carrying a rifle, firing one round off into the air. The Arizona Daily Star reported at the time that Valencia allegedly stole the rifle from a local store and threatened to shoot himself in the head when approached by officers before being hit by Rapiejko.
According to KOLD, Police Chief Terry Rozema said that Rapiejko’s move saved the suspect’s life. Valencia was hospitalized for two days before being charged with aggravated assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, discharging a firearm inside the city limits, and shoplifting involving a firearm.
“This was a dangerous felon who’d been on a crime spree throughout the morning,” Sgt. Chris Warren said to KOLD at the time of the arrest. “He’d just stolen a weapon, loaded it, was not obeying commands from officers and was walking toward occupied businesses. It’s a busy time of morning, a lot of employees at work, a lot getting ready to come out for breaks, he’s walking toward those businesses. So we had to take immediate action and make sure he didn’t get inside those businesses.”
The footage was aired by CNN on Tuesday, and can be seen below.