Hit-and-run suspect leads police on chase, rams police SUV


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Jill Galus

Posted on November 15, 2013 at 7:27 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 10:39 AM

Map: Happy Road and Vistancia (near Loop 303)

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- A driver is in custody after a hit-and-run crash and a police chase in which he reportedly tried to run down a police officer.

It all came to an end shortly before 7 a.m. Friday in the area of Happy Valley Road and Vistancia Boulevard, just west of Loop 303.

Police have identified the driver as Mitchell Weedman, 51, of Glendale. Investigators believe he was impaired by drugs or alcohol.

According to Peoria police spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto, they received calls about an erratic driver in a Chevy Avalanche on Happy Valley Road. Officers quickly learned that the driver in question, Weedman, had been involved in a head-on collision and left the scene.

He reportedly was running other vehicles off the road as he fled.

Officers tried to stop Weedman, but he refused to comply. Jacinto said the officers decided to deploy their Stop Sticks.

"The driver then tried to hit the officer and rammed his police car," Jacinto said in an email to 3TV.

That officer was not injured.

Aerial video from the scene showed paramedics treating Weedman on the side of the road. It also showed the damage the Stop Sticks did to his Avalanche.

Weedman was taken into custody without further incident. No injuries were reported in the initial crash.

Vistancia Boulevard was closed while police conducted their on-scene investigation.