The Department of Public Safety says one of its officers was assaulted and his patrol car stolen Tuesday afternoon north of Casa Grande near the Sacaton rest stop along westbound Interstate 10.
DPS spokesman Bart Graves tells The Associated Press the officer made a traffic stop after detectives located a stolen pickup truck carrying suspected illegal immigrants.
As the officer assisted with the arrest, the driver punched the officer in the face and then stole a DPS patrol car.
Graves says the driver got off I-10 and later abandoned the patrol car 30 miles south of Phoenix.
The driver was eventually arrested and faces multiple charges.