WATCH: Arizona Cop Mounts Sidewalk and Smashes Into Suspect

Shocking police dashcam footage has emerged showing an Arizona cop speeding down a road, mounting a sidewalk and smashing into an alleged armed robber in a supposed bid to capture him.

In the two videos, Mario Valencia is captured walking along a street in Marana, northwest of Tucson, carrying what appears to be a rifle. He points the loaded weapon into the air and a shot rings out.

A police officer in one of the patrol cars says: ‘One round just went out. He’s definitely loaded.’ He then tells his colleague, Officer Michael Rapiejko, in the other vehicle: ‘Stand off, the gun is loaded.’

But apparently ignoring his advice, Rapiejko overtakes the officer’s car, before speeding straight toward Valencia. Seconds later, his vehicle mounts the curb and smashes into the suspect’s body.

Valencia is sent flying into the air, while the car crashes through a concrete wall before coming to a halt amid debris. The other officer can be heard shouting in shock: ‘Oh! Jesus Christ, man down.’

At the end of the footage, obtained by CBS affiliate KOLD-TV, Rapiejko is captured emerging from his vehicle and approaching Valencia, while other cops exit their own cars with their guns raised.

Valencia was rushed to University of Arizona Medical Center in serious condition following the crash outside a self storage facility on February 19. He was eventually booked into jail two days later.

The release of the dashcam videos comes as police across America remain under scrutiny for allegedly racially profiling African-American suspects and using excessive violence against them.

Only a week and a half ago, South Carolina police officer Michael Slager was charged with murder after he allegedly fatally shot Water Scott, 50, five times in the back as he was running away

Despite Valencia’s injuries and the harrowing footage of the crash, Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema has defended Rapiejko’s actions, declaring they likely saved the armed suspect’s life.

In February, Sergeant Chris Warren also appeared to support the deliberate crash, telling KOLD-TV that Valencia ‘was a dangerous felon who’d been on a crime spree throughout the morning’.

This crime spree allegedly involved theft at a convenience store at Columbus Avenue and 29th Street, vandalism and burglary at the Tucson Baptist Temple, a home invasion and theft of a car.

It culminated in the alleged theft of a rifle from Walmart at 8280 North Cortaro Road. From there, the suspect fled to 5650 West Coca Cola Place, where he was struck and injured by Rapiejko’s vehicle.

‘He’d just stolen a weapon, loaded it, was not obeying commands from officers and walking toward occupied businesses .It’s a busy time of morning, a lot of employees at work,’ said Sgt Warren.

‘We had to take immediate action and make sure he didn’t get inside those businesses.’ Rapiejko was put on standard administrative leave after the crash, because it was considered use of force.

However, the Pima County Attorney’s Office cleared the officer of any wrongdoing and he is back on the force, Sgt Warren said. Valencia, meanwhile, is facing several felony charges for his ‘spree’.

Valencia had already been approached by police near a post office following the alleged Walmart theft, it is reported. There, he had apparently threatened suicide, before firing the gun and fleeing.

No one was injured in the post office incident. Also on Tuesday, dozens of protesters were taking to the streets of New York to continue demonstrations over alleged police brutality against minorities.

The protests have been a regular occurrence in many US cities since last August, when unarmed, black 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri.

In November, a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson in the fatal shooting, while another grand jury chose not to indict another officer in the death of black father-of-four Eric Garner on Staten Island.

On Tuesday, some protesters were seen scuffling with police during a march in Manhattan. Others, meanwhile, were pictured being escorted off the Brooklyn Bridge roadway by NYPD officers.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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