Armed robbery sparks police chase, wreck

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PHOENIX -- An armed robbery in Phoenix sparked a police chase that ended in a crash involving an officer's cruiser early Wednesday morning.

The wreck happened at Ninth and Vogel avenues at about 4 a.m.

According to investigators, the suspect drove straight at a police car as he was trying to get away. The officer in that cruiser was not hurt.

Police said the initial call was an armed robbery at Circle K at 12th Street and Glendale. An officer happened to be monitoring the store for robberies and beer runs.

The suspect allegedly walked into the store, pulled a gun and stole about $35 and cigarettes from the clerk.

Officers were already pulling up when the suspect walked out of the store and jumped into his pickup truck. That's when the chase began. The pursuit reached speeds of 60mph through the streets of Phoenix

Officers tried to use Stop Sticks to disable the suspect's vehicle, but the suspect managed to avoid them. Police finally cornered the suspect in the area of Eighth and Vogel avenues, but the suspect wasn't ready to give up.

Investigators said the suspect turned his truck around and gunned it -- right toward a police cruiser.

"It was pretty wild. I thought he was going to drive up over the top," said Officer Derald Rine of the Phoenix Police Department. "If he had had more momentum, he probably would have driven right up over the top of my patrol car. He only had maybe 20 or 30 feet to floor it."

After ramming the police cruiser, the suspect, whose name has not been released, tried to run. Officers tackled him and took him into custody.

"He put up a goof fight," Rine said.

Officers recovered a gun from the front seat of the truck.

Investigators said the suspect's vehicle matches the description of one used in a series of armed robberies. Police are now trying to determine if the suspect was involved in those robberies.

Police said the suspect was wearing a black beanie when he walked into the store. He pulled that beanie down to cover his face, but because the beanie did not have eye holes, he had to pull it back up when he confronted the store clerk. At that moment, the security camera captured a clear photo of him.

No injuries were reported.