Excessive Force or a Necessary Move? Marana Officer Hits Armed Suspect With Patrol Car

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Michael Rapiejko
  • Michael Rapiejko
Editor's note: Viewer discretion advised. If you don't want to see a guy pointing a gun at himself and being hit by a car, don't watch this video.

Marana Police Department made national news yesterday when they released dash cam footage from a February incident in which an officer rammed an armed suspect with his patrol car.

Mario M. Valencia, armed with a rifle he had just stolen from the Walmart on Cortaro Road, was walking down Coca Cola Drive on of Feb. 19 when Officer Michael Rapiejko stuck him with a patrol car. In the video, Valencia can be seen firing a round into the air.

Rapiejko accelerated his patrol car and struck Valencia near the entrance of Continental Ranch Self Storage, sending 
Mario Valencia
  • Mario Valencia
Valencia flying into the air and knocking the rifle several out of his grasp. Valencia suffered serious but nonlife-threatening injuries. He was released from the hospital two days after the incident. Valencia is now in Pima County Jail on counts of robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, arson and theft related to a string of crimes in midtown Tucson.

No officers were harmed, and the Pima County Attorney’s Office declined to charge Rapiejko over his use of force. Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema said Rapiejko’s actions saved lives, including Valencia’s.

What do you think: Was this a case of excessive force or a necessary move?




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