Mesa family fight suspect followed by police speeds, crashes

The suspect ended up crashing near U.S. 60 and Val Vista Drive.
The suspect ended up crashing near U.S. 60 and Val Vista Drive.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 8:36 PM MST
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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Law enforcement tried to stop a man who fled from police after a family fight, but he ended up crashing in the Mesa area on Monday night. Police said they were called out to a domestic violence situation near University and Val Vista drives around 6:45 p.m. Sgt. Chuck Trapani with Mesa Police said the police helicopter spotted 45-year-old Phillip Penneman leaving the scene in a Hyundai Sonata. Officers in the air told officers on the ground, who tried to stop him, but he sped off, police said. Officers said they backed off and used their helicopter to follow Penneman. He eventually got on the U.S. 60., where officers called on the Department of Public Safety to help with its helicopter.

Arizona’s Family started hearing about the suspect when the driver was heading west on Superstition Freeway near Sossaman Road just after 7 p.m. Penneman was allegedly hitting speeds more than 100 miles per hour. ADOT video showed him getting off the freeway at Higley Road heading north but then doing a U-turn when he saw two Department of Public Safety troopers in marked SUVs following him. Penneman then ran a red light and continued south on Higley, police said. He then drove to Baseline Road and headed west to Val Vista. Penneman then went north of Val Vista when a DPS trooper tried to use a grappler on the car to get it to stop, but it failed, Trapani said.

Police say he then approached a red light at Val Vista and the U.S. 60, a trooper tried a grappler again, but when Penneman tried to get away, he collided with two cars at the red light. As officers approached, they saw he had stabbed himself, though it’s unclear when he did that, Trapani said. He was detained and then taken to the hospital. He’s listed in stable condition as of Tuesday afternoon. When he gets out, he’ll be booked into jail on aggravated assault and disorderly conduct charges related to domestic violence charges plus unlawful flight from law enforcement, endangerment and criminal damage charges. Police found a knife covered in blood inside a compartment on the Sonata’s passenger side. Trapani said those in the other two cars didn’t need to go to the hospital.

DPS tried to use a grappler to get the driver to stop but it failed.
DPS tried to use a grappler to get the driver to stop but it failed.(Arizona's Family)