PHOENIX -- After a three-hour search operation, police and Department of Public Safety officers detained a man who they believe rammed a DPS vehicle during a routine traffic stop early Monday morning.
Several police and DPS patrol vehicles converged on the area of 26th Avenue and McDowell Road, which is just northwest of the Interstate 17-Interstate 10 interchange, at about 6 a.m.
Aerial video from Chopper 3 showed a red Chevy pickup truck surrounded by crime-scene tape and an armored tactical vehicle.
According to Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves, this started with a traffic stop about a mile away in the area of I-17 and Thomas Road. A DPS officer had stopped the pickup because it had suspended plates.
Before the officer could get out of his car and talk to the suspect, later identified by DPS as George Glockner, the man threw the truck into reverse, speeding backwards into the DPS cruiser. The impact was severe.
"The back wheels of his truck went up over onto the hood of the officer's patrol car," DPS spokesman Bart Graves said.
The officer fired several shots as Glockner shifted into drive and fled the scene. A short pursuit ensued.
Glockner, 23, apparently lost control of the Chevy, spinning out and damaging one of the front tires.
The suspect ditched the truck outside a warehouse at 26th Avenue and McDowell Road. Investigators believe the man was hiding in that warehouse for a time.
Officers conducted an extensive search and were getting ready to pursue other avenues when a warehouse employee who had seen the story on TV called 911 to report seeing a man matching Glockner's description near some forklifts.
Officers responded immediately and spotted him sitting in the passenger seat of a parked Honda Civic south of the building.
"He fought with us, but we have him in custody and we believe this is the same guy," Graves said. "He was here the whole time and he was hoping nobody would notice as he tried to slip away."
The officer whose car was hit was taken to a local hospital as a precaution. Despite the seriousness of the crash, he reportedly was not seriously hurt.
"This is the kind of dangers these officers face every day all over the state," Graves said. "In these traffic stops, we never know who is behind that wheel, what they're going to do."
Investigators described Glockner as uncooperative, saying he would do anything to avoid arrest.
According to Graves, Glockner is wanted on a number of felony warrants and has a history of weapons violations, but was not armed when officers took him into custody Monday morning.
Glockner now faces a charge of aggravated assault on a police officer.
A search of Arizona Department of Corrections records shows Glockner was released from prison in December after serving eight months on a felony endangerment charge from October 2012. Supervision of Glockner ended just last month.
Records also show a felony drug offense out of Pinal County in August 2010.
DPS says suspect in red Chevy rammed officer's car so hard, truck actually went on top of hood, crushing it pic.twitter.com/rlut980g7j— Jill Galus (@JillGalus) July 7, 2014