Marana police video shows cruiser ram crime spree suspect

Marana police officer Michael Rapiejko (Source: Marana Police Department)
Marana police officer Michael Rapiejko (Source: Marana Police Department)
Mario Valencia (Source: Marana Police Department)
Mario Valencia (Source: Marana Police Department)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Police released dash cam video showing how a police officer used his cruiser to put an end to a crime spree in February that stretched from Tucson to Marana.

In the video, an apparent gunshot is heard as the suspect, Mario Valencia, is seen walking down a street.

Then, in a decision that Marana police Chief Terry Rozema says probably saved Valencia's life, officer Michael Rapiejko drives his cruiser onto the sidewalk and rams Valencia.

Valencia was taken to University of Arizona Medical Center in serious condition. He stayed there two days before being booked into jail.

Rapiejko previously served with the Tucson and New York police departments before joining the Marana police.

According to Marana police, Valencia was fleeing from the Walmart at 8280 N. Cortaro Road, near I-10, where he allegedly had stolen a rifle at about 9 a.m. on Feb. 19. The pursuit came to an end outside nearby Continental Ranch Self Storage at 5650 W. Coca Cola Place, where Rapiejko hit the suspect with his cruiser. Valencia had already been intercepted by police in the vicinity of the post office at 5800 N. Business Park Drive, where he pointed the rifle at his head multiple times and threatened suicide before fleeing again and firing the gun in another direction.

Tucson police were also at the Marana scene. According to Marana police, Valencia allegedly abandoned a stolen vehicle at the store.

Police were investigating whether Valencia was connected to the three earlier incidents in Tucson. According to police, the crime spree began with a theft at a convenience store at Columbus Avenue and 29th Street, then the Tucson Baptist Temple at 1525 S. Columbus Avenue was broken into and was damaged by a small fire. Finally, there was a home invasion and car theft reported on the 3900 block of East Paseo Dorado, near 22nd Street and Alvernon Way.

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