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Police: Mesa officer strikes suspect with patrol car after man points object at vehicle

Posted: 9:00 PM, Jun 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-08 03:17:21Z
Mesa police
KNXV Andrew Spencer.jpg

MESA, AZ — A pedestrian, that police are now calling a suspect, is in jail after a Mesa police officer used his vehicle to ram the man after he allegedly pointed an object at the officer.

Police initially said a pedestrian was hit by an officer while responding to a call for service Thursday night.

A Mesa Police Department spokesman says around 6:30 p.m., two bike officers were contacted by light rail security near Mesa Drive and Main Street about a man acting suspicious and trying to sell items.

The officers tried to make contact with the man, who was later identified as 26-year-old Andrew Spencer, but Spencer refused to stop and reportedly ran from the area. Witnesses told police Spencer went behind a nearby business and was seen acting erratically near a vehicle. A short time later, Spencer walked back into the street where he encountered a responding officer in a patrol vehicle.

According to Mesa police, Spencer immediately reached behind his back and turned toward the officer in a "shooting stance," while pointing a black object at the officer in the vehicle. The officer accelerated and struck Spencer. Multiple witnesses on scene told police they saw Spencer reach behind his back and pull out what they thought was a handgun. On Friday, investigators said the object was a black cellphone that was recovered from the scene.

Spencer was taken to an area hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. Spencer was released on Friday and taken into police custody.

When detectives interviewed Spencer he claimed to have no memory of the incident and said, "He drank alcohol just before the event and blacked out," according to arrest documents. Spencer also allegedly said he is usually violent after he drinks alcohol.

Spencer was booked into the Mesa Police Department holding facility and is facing several charges including aggravated assault, criminal trespassing, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

No officers were injured, and detectives are investigating.