Watch: Cop intentionally runs over armed suspect

2015-04-15 10:45

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Dramatic dash-cam video released yesterday shows a United States police officer using his cruiser to ram into an armed suspect, sending him flying in the air before the car smashes into a wall.

The suspect, Mario Valencia, survived the crash, and prosecutors cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.

The officer, Michael Rapiejko, used his police vehicle to ram the rifle-toting Valencia, who was on a one-man crime spree.

The Marana officer was hailed a hero by his chief after the department released the dramatic footage highlighting the February 19 incident.

“That’s not an easy decision right there,” Chief Terry Rozema said.

“That’s a tough, tough, tough decision. But he made it.”

Police descended on the 36-year-old Valencia after he allegedly stole a rifle and box of ammunition from a Tucson Walmart at 9am on February 19.

It was part of a rampage that began with a robbery, in which Valencia was only wearing underwear, at a 7-Eleven. He then broke into a church and set it on fire, followed this with a home invasion and then stole a car, police said.

Rozema said Valencia was headed toward locked-down businesses and deadly force may have been necessary to prevent a hostage crisis, or something far worse.

Valencia’s lawyer, Michelle Cohen-Metzger, disagreed, saying: “Everything in the video seems to point towards an obvious excessive use of force. It is miraculous that my client isn’t dead.”

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