A Tucson man is in custody, charged with a list of felony offenses after leading Pinal County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a pursuit that ended after the suspect rammed a patrol vehicle.
Today, at approximately 3:53 a.m., a PCSO deputy on patrol along southbound Highway 77 near milepost 100 noticed a driver behaving erratically while the deputy was parked along side the road.
A black H2 Hummer SUV driven by John Contreras, 31, of Tucson came to a sudden stop behind the deputy and turned off his lights while blocking southbound traffic.
Contreras revved the SUV’s engine and drove forward, causing the deputy to make an evasive move to avoid a collision. As Contreras passed by, the deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop.
Contreras attempted to cause the deputy to wreck several times by slamming on his brakes to a stop while continuing to drive carelessly by swerving into all lanes of travel.
At milepost 95, Contreras turned into an industrial entrance where a locked gate forced him to stop.
Contreras then rammed the deputy’s patrol vehicle after putting his vehicle into reverse. Contreras then fled once again and the pursuit continued on Highway 77 at speeds of 80 mph. During the pursuit, Contreras also struck multiple signs along the highway.
A second PCSO unit successfully deployed stop sticks along Hwy 77, striking the front and rear passengers side tires on the SUV.
Contreras continued south as his tires deflated and came apart down to the rims, causing him to lose speed. At the intersection of Hwy 77 and Tortolita Street, Contreras again turned aggressively and rammed the deputy’s vehicle, causing it to stop.
Units approached the SUV and gave orders to Contreras to exit the vehicle, but he initially refused to comply. A short time later Contreras exited the vehicle but still refused to comply with orders given by deputies.
Contreras then attempted to flee back into his vehicle. Fearing he was going to obtain a weapon or possibly flee once again in the vehicle, one of the deputies deployed his Taser on Contreras. He was then taken into custody without further incident.
Deputies suspect Contreras was possibly impaired by alcohol. A blood sample was obtained and will be submitted to the Arizona Department of Public Safety for testing.
Contreras was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center for the following charges:
Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer with a Weapon (2 Counts), Criminal Damage (2 Counts), Felony Flight, Resisting Arrest, Endangerment (2 counts), and Reckless Driving.
Currently he is being held on a $50,000 bond. Additional impaired driving related charges are pending and maybe filed after we obtain his blood alcohol results.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “Thankfully none of our deputies or citizens were injured by the complete disregard of human life exhibited by the actions of John Contreras. Law enforcement has done our job to keep the citizens of Pinal County safe. Now it’s time for the County Attorney’s Office to do their job and prosecute Contreras to the fullest extent.”