Driver faces attempted murder charges after hitting 3 Phoenix officers

Driver faces attempted murder charges after hitting 3 Phoenix officers.

PHOENIX - A man was arrested and faces three counts of attempted first-degree murder after trying to run over three Phoenix police officers early Tuesday morning.

"Our Phoenix police officers were targeted," Phoenix police chief Joe Yahner said in a news conference.

According to Yahner, the officers had stopped at the QuikTrip near Camelback Road and Interstate 17 to meet after finishing a call.

The officers included a 41-year-old sergeant  with 18 years of experience and a 33-year-old officer who had just graduated from the police academy. It was the younger officer's first night on the job, according to Yahner.

The three were standing directly in front of the door to the QT when a driver pulled into the parking lot.

Yahner initially refused to release the driver's name but he was later identified as 44-year-old Marc LaQuon Payne.

Payne stopped at one of the pumps with his car facing the officers, Yahner said. He reversed and backed into a parking spot. There, he turned off the car's headlights and sat for several minutes.

He drove from the parking spot and slammed on the gas directly at the officers.

The car barreled into the officers and the front of the QT. One officer, the sergeant, was directly hit and another was sent flying into the front of the store.

Payne then got out of his car to fight the third officer, who was not hit by the car. An officer used a stun gun on the suspect before detaining him.

"The officers all tried to run away and it looks like one just missed being squished between the police car and the suspect's car," said Phoenix police Sgt. Jonathan Howard. "It looks like one of them was actually run over by the car and then the third officer was propelled as high as the car before he came to rest."

The incident was captured on surveillance video.

 

The officers were taken to the hospital. One suffered minor injuries sustained in the fight with the suspect, the other a head injury and the sergeant suffered a broken leg. 

According to Yahner, Payne also faces two counts of aggravated assault because of how close he came to hitting two clerks inside the QT with his car.

12 News reached out to QT for more information but did not receive a response.

Police suspect impairment may be a factor in the crash. Payne was booked into the 4th Avenue Jail Tuesday afternoon.

Court documents show in 1997, Payne pleaded guilty to aggravated assault after resisting arrest and kicking a Phoenix police officer twice in the leg.

According to police, they’d pulled Payne over for expired tags and realized he had outstanding warrants.

Documents show Payne accepted responsibility for the assault and said he struggled with officers because he didn’t want to be “chained up.”

In the documents, police also said Payne was said to be remorseful.

After successfully completing probation, the charge was downgraded to a misdemeanor. 

Copyright 2016 KPNX


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment