PHOENIX - We’re learning more about the man who police say lead them on a chase across the Valley.
Police said Ronald Chante stole a Phoenix police utility truck and crashed into police officers during the chase.
Records show he was in trouble with the law dating back 15 years.
People who knew him said he had a drug problem, but he was obviously mentally ill and needed help.
His longtime girlfriend told ABC15 Chante was not a threat and would never hurt anyone.
Josie Passmore said Chante was diagnosed with acute psychosis which made him imagine things that were not true. She said he had medication, but does not know if he was taking in on the day he died.
“After he was arrested , he called me from the psych ward. I thought they were going to give him help," she said.
Passmore said she doesn’t know what caused her boyfriend to lead police on the chase, or what was going through his mind.
All she knows is that over the past few weeks, she believes he had been harassed by police and thinks that’s what caused him to snap.
“They had been stopping him and picking him up for small things. He would get released. He was just really mad and upset,” said Passmore.
She said an officer once told Chante, aka "Crash", that he was going to commit him to a mental hospital.
"He said Crash, I'm going to commit you cause you're all over the place."
"You get a person who is out there on their own who doesn't know they need help and they fall through the cracks and this is a perfect example," said Defense Attorney Vladimir Gagic.
Police said after Chante crashed into several officers, they felt the need to shoot.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Did You Hear?
The Pinnacle Peak Pistoleros put on their Wild West Shows with family-friendly jokes and stunts performed by vaudeville-type characters like those popular at the turn of the century.
According to a swimwear seller, picking the best swimsuit for you comes down to three things.
What happens if you beat the tough odds and hold the winner Powerball ticket? You celebrate. Then what?
More Central Phoenix News
Police said the 23-year-old firefighter was “gravely injured” when he became pinned between two vehicles.