Chase suspect identified; accused of Arpaio death threat during recent arrestPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Police shot and killed a man Sunday morning after being led on a chase through the Valley.
The suspected has been identified as Ronald Earl Chante, 51.
Chante was in the news last week when he was arrested at his Mesa home in a criminal damage incident and allegedly threatened to kill Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Authorities said just before 9 a.m. this Sunday Chante stole a semi-truck from a solid waste management facility at 27th Avenue and Lower Buckeye.
He then proceeded to drive through Phoenix to Tempe, and eventually on to Mesa and Apache Junction.
Along the way the Chante hit three police cars and one civilian vehicle. He also failed to stop at red lights and drove the wrong way on the highway and city streets. The suspect even picked up a hitchhiker while in Tempe, but the person subsequently asked to be let out of the vehicle.
“The issue with this is the suspect was not fleeing from police, he was trying to strike and hit police cars which put us into a different situation in our efforts to get him stopped,” said Officer James Holmes.
The chase eventually came to an end near Ironwood and Apache Trail. Scott Bird works at the Chevron in the area and said it appeared as if the suspect was impaired.
“We saw the truck and we all hid and then he just smashed through here,” Bird recalled.
The suspect eventually became pinned against a cactus after hitting an Apache Junction Police vehicle.
An officer approached the semi-truck and shot Chante before he could drive off again.
Police said no one other than the suspect was harmed during the chase.
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Chante served time in prison for disorderly conduct about 12 years ago.