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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Dramatic dash-cam video shows a police officer in a Tucson suburb 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 video released Tuesday and now getting attention across the U.S. comes at a time of heightened tension over the use of force by police across the country.

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.

One of the dash cam videos shows an officer slowly driving behind Valencia as he shoots the rifle in the air. That officer tells others to stay back because the suspect is armed.

But within seconds, a different officer drives his patrol car at high speed and rams into Valencia, sending him flying into the air. Officers with guns drawn quickly swarm the scene.

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.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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19 thoughts on “Video Shows Arizona Officer Ramming Into Robbery Suspect

  1. The Bottom line is that, if he had been a white guy he would not have been run down. The Police do not run over, beat and shoot white people to death. They only do it to people of color and minority’s.

  2. This guy committed multiple robberies that morning culminating in the theft of that firearm even firing it off in a residential area. What would these cop haters say if the police had held back and just offered tea and biscuits to this perp to give up and he
    Managed to shoot up a home, daycare, or school? I agree 1000% with what this cop did he should receive a commendation

  3. specialt757 on said:

    Amber most people’s respect and dislike (NOT HATE) for cops (contrary to what you think) dwindle every day especially after hearing stories like this. I get there all a lot of crimes committed, not just by blacks but period. But the relationships between the cops and the public is just good anymore. Every day you hear stories about cops killing black men for whatever reason. I just so happen to live in a community that when I call the cops they respond immediately, so I do hold out some type of respect. But I didn’t always live in that kind of environment where when I called the cops because I saw someone breaking into my neighbors house they treated me like I was the suspect. Lots of people go through that and not just people who are up to no good.

    • Again, I have to disagree. I think MOST people respect cops but do not like bad cops (even good cops do not like bad cops. And lets be real, these streets are bad and criminals are now thinking they can use these times of trouble to uplift their own criminal activities in this trying times with officers as well. yes, I hear some folks make comments about cops and often times it is the ones who are up to “no good” who will rob and steal from me and you just as quick and think nothing about it so their view of the cops is not coming from a place of being “mistreated” but a place where they want to do what they want to do and do not want to get caught.

      • specialt757 on said:

        Amber I think (or at least hope) we have a mutual respect for one other even tho we don’t know each other. We can disagree but at least willing to hear each other out. On this point we just so happen to disagree but it’s cool, I can respect that, I’m out.

  4. specialt757 on said:

    Let me stop you right there MacBen (MacBen your hatred for black people is so apparent, you must hate to look in the mirror everyday ) and Amber. I read the story clearly and I know the crime “spree” this guy was on, I don’t defend his actions whatsoever, he is a menace to society and should have his day in court. At the moment in the video there was one cop following him and the other came out of nowhere and ran him down. Yes many different scenarios could have played out in this case. But the best strategy for making this end with as less casualties as possible was to run him down and try to kill him? Or was it just the easiest option for a cop who didn’t give a damn about this person’s life? We don’t live in the wild, wild, west. We can think better than this, there has to be better options. I cannot believe that running a man down in a police cruiser is part of the police training taught at the police academies. Open your eyes this would have ended differently if this was a white suspect, all of us know that.

    • I understand what you saying but again this guy had rifle and he ignored the warnings. maybe some things could have been handle better; HOWEVER, this way still got the job done and really I think this guy was lucky. If the cops would have came out stooting, he would have been DEAD instead of walking away with a few bumps. I guess to me when someone has a gun, ALL BETS ARE OFF. I think about how many people this guy could have hurt and then we would be around here saying what the cops could have done or needed to do. This guy IGNORED the warnings while carrying a HIGH POWER RIFLE, not a knife.

  5. Amber on said:

    Sorry but if you walking and robbing a store and walking down the street with a weapon (RIFLE) and people are in building who can walk out and kids can come walking by while this nut has a rifle shooting up in the air and ignoring the cops warning him to put the weapon down, YES, HE SHOULD HAVE GOT THE SENSE KNOCKED OUT of him with the car. If this guy would have started shooting at people as well, then everyone trying to defend this nut would be upset with cops for not doing anything. When you have a weapon and can be danger, ALL BETS are off and you are fair game.

  6. Mac Ben on said:

    Clearly none of your pukes read the story or researched it for yourselves. The perp in this story was walking with a rifle he had just stolen from Wal-Mart with the barrel to his chin-AFTER he had threatened people and fired a shot. The sneak-attack was a preemptive move to stop this wacko. It worked. He wasnt killed and after two days in the hospital was arrested.

  7. Jessie jones on said:

    This whole thing is going to turn into a mallinium revolution. To where black people as a whole will soon began to take up arms and relaliate. Than what what wil they do? CHAOS…..

  8. specialt757 on said:

    Are you f-n kiddin’ me! This is absolutely horrific, what a blatant abuse of power for this officer to do that. He intended to kill this man, he used his patrol car as a deadly weapon. For the department to clear him of any wrong doing is ludacris. No wonder no one likes the police anymore, same BS different day.

    • Amber on said:

      Specialt757, I disagree. This guy had a HIGH POWER RIFLE. It is easy to judge when you are not in that position but this guy was shooting up in the air and stole that gun from walmart and could have done damage to other people. HE WAS warned to put the gun down but he did not. When a person has a weapon, that person is fair game to be taken out. This guy is still lucky that the cop use a car, if not, it could have been a shoot out and he would have been DEAD considering what he did. Also, most people do not hate cops, people do not like BAD cops. ONLY CRIMINALS and people who are up to no good do not like cops in general and will generalized ALL cops.

      • specialt757 on said:

        Amber you know what’s funny about this story is that your local neighbor family store sales “HIGH POWER RIFLES” to pretty much anybody along with diapers and baby wipes. Talking about open season…

  9. Dam! Is it Open Season on young males of color in AMerykah or what?
    First they shoot them down in the streets like animals or in this case the PIGS are mowing this guy down with his vehicle!

  10. The police and the police department is running amuck across America. Something really has to be done! How can the United States boast about being the “Land of the Free,” and “Liberty and Justice for All” with this type of behavior. America no need to throw “shade” at other countries, because you are no better!

    • I could not agree more with your statement! These divided states are the “Land of the Free” to run down minorities. These divided states have the “Liberty” to run us down with vehicles and even kill us. And who is being hurt, locked up and killed? “Just Us.” These divided states are ALWAYS throwing “shade” at other countries when she/it/they is no better. It is open season on us and to quote an old movie, “They don’t care!”

      I cannot believe that this was the ONLY way for these officers to stop this man! He had ALREADY done the damage with his robbing spree and at the end, was only a threat to HIMSELF!

  11. That video was sickening to say the least. That administrative paid leave us BS. The First Officer had the suspect, this KKK speeds around the other Officer Runs the guy down. Horrible!!!!!

    • what would you do? on said:

      Agreed. That was a deliberate move. But I guess his foot got stuck between the accelerator and brake pedals trying to stop will be his excuse.

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