A robbery suspect has been taken to the hospital after he led Phoenix police on a wrong-way chase yesterday. The case took place on Phoenix city streets as well as portions of the I-17. Phoenix police were responding to a call they receive at about 6:30pm. A check-cashing business called police because they suspected forgery. When police arrived at the business, located near 19th Avenue and Bell, the suspect attempted to steal a car to run from police.
The robbery suspect then ran to a nearby truck where he held the driver up at gunpoint, threatening to steal it for his getaway. The woman would not get out of the vehicle, because her grandchildren were inside of it. Police began to fire at the suspect. The suspect was not hit by the fire, but he did manage to gain control of the truck. The driver and her grandchildren were able to exit the truck safely, and the suspect proceeded onto the I-17 going the wrong way.
The man led police on a chase until he crashed the truck into a Circle K gas station not far from where the chase began. According to one of the Phoenix police officers that was there, the suspect was intentionally trying to hit people with the truck. Other than the robbery suspect, no one was hurt in this event. The suspect was taken to the hospital on a stretcher. There is no report on how extensive his injuries are or the extent of the charges he will face.
There are four major criminal offenses that can be drawn from this event: forging checks, carjacking, fleeing police and attempted vehicular assault. Let's evaluate the first offense, check forgery. Forgery and related offenses are detailed in the Arizona Revised Statutes Chapter 20. According to § 13-2002 of the statutes, a person commits the crime of forgery for intentionally defrauding or attempting to defraud a person by means of "falsely making, completing or altering a written instrument." In Arizona, forgery is charged as a class 4 felony.
In the state of Arizona, there is no specified statute concerning carjacking. Stealing or attempting to steal anything by means of threatened force or actual force is considered robbery. According to § 13-1814 of the statutes, theft of a vehicle or other means of transportation is a class 3 felony offense. The suspect in this story used a firearm to attempt robbery, so this could be charged as armed robbery. According to § 13-1904 of the statutes, armed robbery occurs when "a person, in the course of committing robbery, the person or accomplice is armed with a deadly weapon or uses/threatens to use a deadly weapon."
The suspect in this story also fled police in order to resist arrest. In Arizona, this is a criminal offense under § 28-622.01. The law states "A driver of a motor vehicle who willfully flees or attempts to elude a pursuing official law enforcement vehicle that is being operated in the manner described in § 28-624, subsection C is guilty of a class 5 felony."
Phoenix police officers who witnessed this event also stated that the robbery suspect intentionally tried to hit people with his vehicle. If there is enough evidence to support this, the man could also be charged with aggravated assault (aggravated because of the use of a "dangerous instrument" i.e. the truck). This could be charged as a class 3 felony offense. While there is no word yet on what charges the suspect faces, he will likely be facing multiple felony counts.