Avondale suspect's mother upset over use of force during son's arrest

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Rafael Gutierrez, 27 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Rafael Gutierrez, 27 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

After video surfaced showing a dramatic police takedown in Avondale, that man's mother says she's furious. She says her son didn't deserve that kind of force.

A drawn out struggle with officers started when Avondale police say Rafael Gutierrez stole from a Circle K near 111th Avenue and Buckeye.

A half dozen cops were trying to get the suspect Gutierrez to comply and put him under arrest. They say he put up quite a struggle. Much of which they say happened before a witness started recording video. 

[RELATED: Avondale police officer picks up K9 to charge suspect]

When an officer tried to stop him, they say he started swinging.

Tazers didn't phase him. They say he even fought off the police dog. 

"This guy overpowered a lot of people. It was an out-of-the-normal type situation that force had to be used to take this guy, to arrest him," said Sgt. Thomas Alt with the Avondale Police Department. 

[MUG SHOT: Rafael Gutierrez]

That's when the handler picked up his canine and had him bite the suspect again. 

"They do train these placement type bites in situations. Is it something you're going to see every day? No," said Alt. 

The suspect's mother says she found the video upsetting. 

"Terrible, terrible, that police he was so angry with my son," said Ana Gutierrez. 

Ana Gutierrez says her son recently was released from a mental health facility.

"Anxiety. Panic attack. He tried to kill himself many times," she said. 

She thinks he did not deserve to have such force used on him. 

Police say it didn't have to end that way either. 

"We don't want people to get hurt, we want people to listen, and if you've committed a crime? Stop. You got caught," said Alt. 

Four officers and the K9 had to get checked out for injuries. They're all expected to be OK.

Avondale police say anytime force is used, it is reviewed, including in this case. 

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

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Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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