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Cop Uses Cruiser To Run Over Arizona Robbery Suspect (Disturbing Video Inside)

Dramatic dash-cam video released Tuesday 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, 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.

Mario Valencia

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.

Officer Michael Rapiejko

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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Comment by caribmama on April 20, 2015 at 8:46am

See what happens when juries tell cops it's ok to kill and maim. Shoot first ask questions later. SMH! Yes, I do feel this guy needed to be taken down....but not in that manner! If he sues he deserves it!

Comment by ernie on April 19, 2015 at 7:39pm

better him than making it to a school or something,that poor car.

Comment by Konrad on April 16, 2015 at 9:26pm
If this guy was black he more than likely would have been shot. Given the situation he is very fortunate to not have been overwhelmed by a hail of bullets.
Comment by Roots aka TJ What De Ras on April 16, 2015 at 6:41pm
Who's going to pay for the damage to the brick wall
Comment by marvin mallett on April 16, 2015 at 6:04pm
Comment by Bombahdrop on April 16, 2015 at 2:46pm

I dout that dude was going to shoot himself on the other hand they should have let him try to do it or take him down the right way. That was good'ole fashion homicide on the police officers behalf. That was no way to subdue a criminal, poor dude didn't know what hit him. He had a right to a fair trial as every other low down scum.

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