VIDEO: Dash cam video shows police car hit suspect
TUCSON, Ariz. – Dramatic dash-cam video shows a police officer using his cruiser to mow down an armed suspect, sending him flying in the air before the car smashes into a wall.Prosecutors cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.
The man who was hit, Mario Valencia, 36, faces several felony charges, including assault on a police officer. His attorney, Michelle Cohen-Metzger, has not responded to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
Marana police Sgt. Chris Warren said Valencia robbed a convenience store in Tucson, broke into a church, invaded a home and stole a car. Valencia drove the stolen car to Marana, just north of Tucson, where he stole a rifle from a Wal-Mart.
Video from two different police cruisers shows Valencia walking down a busy business corridor with a rifle in his hands. At one point, Valencia points the rifle at himself and threatens to kill himself.
The officer has been identified as Michael Rapiejko. Warren said Rapiejko was put on a standard administrative leave because the incident was considered use of force. The Pima County Attorney’s Office cleared Rapiejko of any wrongdoing and he is back on the force, Warren said.