Marana, Arizona police have released dash cam video showing Officer Michael Rapiejko driving his police car right at suspect Mario Valencia and running him over.
According to the police, Valencia had been suspected of multiple thefts, including the reported theft the day he was struck of a rifle from a nearby Walmart, a robbery, and setting a fire at a church.
He also allegedly stole a vehicle, only to abandon it, and when he was confronted earlier by the police, he pointed the rifle at his own head and threatened to take his life before running off with the weapon still in hand.
After he was hit, Valencia ended up in the hospital. His attorney, of course, is outraged about the “excessive use of force,” but the police have defended Rapiejko’s actions:
“If we’re going to choose between maybe we’ll let him go a little bit farther and see what happens, or we’re going to take him out now and eliminate any opportunity he has to hurt somebody, you’re going to err on the side of, in favor of the innocent people,” Police Chief Terry Rozema said. “Without a doubt.”
Watch the dash cam video below (warning: GRAPHIC):