AZ Police Officer Rams Armed Suspect, Cleared Of Wrongdoing


Dramatic dash-cam video shows a police officer in the Tucson suburb of Marana using his cruiser to ram an armed suspect, sending him flying in the air before the car smashes into a wall. The man survived the Feb. 19 crash, and prosecutors cleared the officer of any wrongdoing, the Associated Press reports. The video, now getting attention across the U.S., comes at a time of heightened tension over the use of force by police across the nation. The man who was hit, Mario Valencia, 36, faces several felony charges, including assault on a police officer.

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,where he stole a rifle from a Wal-Mart. Video from two police cruisers shows Valencia walking down a busy business corridor with a rifle in his hands. Officer Michael Rapiejko, who rammed Valencia, was cleared by the Pima County Attorney’s Office and is back on the force after an administrative leave.

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