Suspected drunk driver rams PCSO car during chase

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John Contreras By Andrew Michalscheck John Contreras By Andrew Michalscheck
Stop sticks successfully stopped John Contreras' Hummer. By Andrew Michalscheck Stop sticks successfully stopped John Contreras' Hummer. By Andrew Michalscheck

CATALINA, Ariz. -- A wild chase involving deputies from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has a Tucson man facing multiple felony charges.

A deputy was parked along the side of southbound Highway 77 early Tuesday morning when they noticed that John Contreras was behaving erratically.

Contreras reportedly stopped his Hummer SUV behind the deputy’s vehicle and turned off his lights while blocking southbound traffic.

Contreras then revved his vehicle’s engine and drove forward, prompting that deputy to swerve out of the way.

The deputy attempted to pull Contreras over, but he refused to stop. The 31-year-old allegedly slammed on his brakes multiple times while being followed by the deputy and was swerving across multiple lanes.

Contreras eventually turned into an industrial entrance, but had to stop when he reached a locked gate. He proceeded to throw his vehicle into reverse and rammed into the deputy’s patrol car.

Contreras then continued driving down Highway 77, reaching speeds as high as 80 mph and striking multiple signs along the road.

Stop sticks were eventually deployed and deflated the front and rear passenger side tires on Contreras’ vehicle.

Contreras eventually lost speed as he drove on his rims, and was brought to a stop after ramming the deputy’s patrol car for the second time.

Contreras initially refused to exit his vehicle, and was shot with a Taser after stepping out of the SUV and then attempting to jump back inside.

He’s now facing such charges as aggravated assault on a police officer, criminal damage, and resisting arrest.

Deputies also suspect that Contreras was under the influence of alcohol. Impaired driving charges could be filed when PCSO receives Contreras’ blood alcohol results.