AZDPS Trooper Involved In Shooting After Suspect Intentionally Rams Patrol Vehicle
On Sunday, August 2, 2020, at approximately 9 PM, an Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) trooper conducted a traffic stop on a 2005 Honda Pilot SUV, for a moving violation on US 191, north of Interstate 40, near Sanders, AZ. During the course of the traffic stop, the trooper determined the female driver was impaired. As the trooper was taking the driver into custody, the male passenger moved to the driver’s seat of the SUV and fled the traffic stop.
Shortly after, the trooper located the suspect on a nearby county road. The suspect then drove the SUV at the trooper, intentionally ramming the trooper’s patrol vehicle. The suspect turned and drove again at the trooper, causing the trooper to fear for his life. The trooper discharged his service weapon at the suspect who was not hit.
The suspect fled the scene a second time and was located and taken into custody. The suspect is identified as 33-year-old Craig D. Ben, of the Navajo Nation. Bend has had multiple contacts with law enforcement in Maricopa, Navajo, and Apache counties on various charges including; Aggravated Assault, Resisting Arrest, Aggravated Robbery, Theft of Means of Transportation, Soliciting Prostitution, and DUI.
The female driver, 30-year-old Patrish James, of Phoenix, was booked into the Apache County jail for Aggravated DUI. James is also known to law enforcement in the same three counties.
Because this occurred on the Navajo Nation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is conducting the investigation into the assault and shooting. Please contact the FBI for additional information.
AZDPS detectives are conducting a parallel administrative investigation. The trooper involved is on paid administrative leave which is standard for trooper-involved shooting.