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Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Assaulted by Suspected Car Thief

Suspect stole DPS vehicle before being arrested

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 -

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At 12:09 p.m. today (Oct. 26, 2010), the State Vehicle Theft Task Force located a stolen Dodge Pickup truck traveling in the Casa Grande area.

The State Vehicle Theft Task Force is administered by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS).

A DPS Detective asked for assistance from the Highway Patrol in conducting a traffic stop on the vehicle. During the course of the traffic stop, the driver of the stolen vehicle drove into an unmarked DPS vehicle. The suspect driver then got out of the vehicle he was driving and assaulted a uniformed DPS Officer. After that, he was able to get into a marked DPS Chevrolet Tahoe police vehicle and drive westbound toward Phoenix.

The suspect eventually abandoned the DPS patrol vehicle in the desert about 30 miles south of Phoenix. He was taken into custody a short time later.

At the time of the original traffic stop, there were seven suspected undocumented aliens, including the driver, inside the stolen pickup truck. Five of the UDA’s remained at the scene of the traffic stop. One person escaped on foot and is still at large.

All of the suspected UDA’s on scene were turned over to the Border Patrol. The Gila River Police Department and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the pursuit and arrest of the suspect.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.