PD: DUI suspect hits Chandler police vehicle

Posted at 2:42 PM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-21 20:19:11-05

A woman first suspected of DUI is in custody after a pursuit in Chandler on Monday afternoon.

Chandler police said officers attempted to stop a suspected DUI driver at Arizona Avenue and Chandler Heights Road. The driver did not stop and intentionally backed her vehicle into a patrol vehicle.

According to police, the driver, later identified as 33-year-old Enriqutta Martha Herrera, fled eastbound on Riggs Road and was eventually stopped by Maricopa County Sheriff's officials at Power Road — 10 miles away from where it initially started.

The suspect's son, Juan Herrera, went to the scene after hearing what happened.

"My dad said that she had backed up into a cop," Juan said. "The cop was apparently getting out of the car and she almost ran him over."

He explained that his mother is bipolar and he believes her illness led her to act out.

"She's a really nice lady," Herrera's son said. "When her bipolar isn't kicking in, she's the nicest person; but when it does you can tell that there's a difference in her brain."

Witness Angelo Pugnetti described what he saw happening during the pursuit.

"Probably 70 to 75 miles per hour," Pugnetti said. "[She was] being chased by six or seven cops and she was kind of swerving a little bit."

Pugnetti said he saw police use a spike strip to try to stop the suspect. The suspect's passenger window was shattered by police in an attempt to enter the vehicle.

An officer involved in the incident sustained a minor hand injury after tripping on a concrete median.

"They all hopped out extremely quickly and I didn't see anybody pull their gun out or anything, but they all had their hands on their holsters ready," Pugnetti said.

Impairment was determined to not be a factor in the incident. Officials are still working to determine why the incident took place.

Herrera will be charged with aggravated assault and unlawful flight.