TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona police officer who used his cruiser to ram into an armed suspect has a prior use of force record in New York City.
Records show that Officer Michael Rapiejko of the Marana Police Department was sued in May 2008 by a man who said the officer pointed a gun at him and choked him.
The city settled with the man, Luis Colon, for $20,000.
Police say Rapiejko has no use of force complaints against him in Marana, a suburb of Tucson. They have defended his actions on Feb. 19 when Rapiejko used his police cruiser to ram into 36-year-old Mario Valencia. Police say Valencia was carrying a stolen rifle and had fired a shot into the sky.
He did not sustain serious injuries and is in jail.