Shirtless man flees on foot into oncoming traffic in Phoenix

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J. Matthew Gramlich (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety) J. Matthew Gramlich (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety)

Arizona state troopers arrested a shirtless man who led them on a foot chase into oncoming traffic on a Phoenix freeway, causing several cars to slow or swerve to avoid the fleeing suspect.

Two officers ran after the man who bolted across the Loop 202 freeway about 3 a.m. Friday and later deployed their stun guns to subdue him.

Traffic camera video shows 43-year-old J. Matthew Gramlich of Phoenix walking without a shirt or shoes along the freeway before being confronted by an Arizona state trooper. He immediately put both hands in the air and briefly spoke with officers before fleeing on foot once an emergency vehicle arrived. Troopers then chased him into traffic and arrested him after using their stun guns.

Several cars on the freeway nearly hit the officers as they wrestled with Gramlich.

Gramlich told police he was involved in a car accident nearby and illegally possessed marijuana, the Department of Public Safety said. He was checked at a hospital before being booked into the county jail on charges of endangerment, obstruction of a highway and possession of marijuana.

The Department of Public Safety described it as a "harrowing ordeal" for the troopers and Gramlich. The agency said there were 29 deadly collisions involving pedestrians on Arizona highways in 2016.

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