Crazy Video Cop Runs Down Robbery Suspect With Car During Dramatic Standoff
A newly-released dash cam video shows the moment an Arizona police officer intentionally ran down a robbery suspect with his squad car.
The video has raised questions about whether this is an example of excessive force or a heroic action by the officer to protect innocent lives.
The incident occurred Feb. 19 in Marana, Arizona, when officers located a man who allegedly was in the midst of a violent robbery spree.
Mario Valencia, 36, was carrying a gun that he allegedly stole from a Walmart earlier in the day.
One dash cam video shows one of the responding officers initially taking a cautious approach.
He notifies his colleagues that Valencia had just fired a round into the air.
Moments later, another squad car arrives. The driver, officer Michael Rapiejko, then makes the bold decision to slam his car right into Valencia, who had his back turned.
"Oh! Jesus Christ, man down," an officer in the other car yelled.
Police Chief Terry Rozema praised Rapiejko's decision, calling it "very tough" to make.
Rozema said that Valencia posed a clear threat to innocent people and to the officers.
Rapiejko was cleared of any wrongdoing in the case. Valencia survived the collision and was brought to jail a few days later.
Valencia's attorney argues that the video shows a clear instance of police using excessive force.
Watch the footage above.