PCSO: Two deputies assaulted this week while making traffic stops

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Raul Hernandez-Lopez (L) and William Thomas By Andrew Michalscheck Raul Hernandez-Lopez (L) and William Thomas By Andrew Michalscheck

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. -- The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office says two of their deputies were assaulted this week during separate traffic stops.

PCSO said on Monday afternoon a K-9 deputy stopped a pickup truck on westbound Interstate 10 for traffic violations.

The driver of the vehicle, 24-year-old Raul Hernandez-Lopez of Mexico, identified himself by presenting the deputy with a Mexican Electoral Card.

Hernandez-Lopez was asked to exit his vehicle, at which time he allegedly sped away, almost hitting the deputy in the process.

Hernandez-Lopez eventually stopped his truck and fled into the desert. The deputy in pursuit was able to detain a female passenger, while responding deputies managed to locate and arrest Hernandez-Lopez.

According to PCSO, Hernandez-Lopez was laughing and taunting deputies during his arrest.

He was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer and failure to stop.

On Tuesday evening, PCSO said a deputy was patrolling in the area of Tomahawk Road and Southern Avenue when he attempted to make a traffic stop after learning that the driver of a vehicle had had his license revoked.

The driver refused to stop, and eventually fled into a nearby home.

When the deputy attempted to arrest the suspect he allegedly tried to punch the deputy in the face multiple times.

Apache Junction police arrived on scene and helped restrain the suspect, who was subsequently identified as 35-year-old William Thomas.

PCSO said Thomas smelled of alcohol at the time of his arrest, and made several derogatory remarks towards the deputy.

Thomas was taken to Mountain Vista Medical Center where he was treated for abrasions he received during his arrest. His blood was also drawn and will be tested for impairment.

The deputy also received abrasions to his hand during the arrest, but he did not require medical treatment.

Thomas has been booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center on charges of aggravated assault on an officer, resisting arrest, and unlawful flight.