Police say man punched cop, fled in patrol car - East Valley Tribune: News

Police say man punched cop, fled in patrol car

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Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 9:51 am | Updated: 8:58 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A Mesa police officer attempting to mediate a dispute was caught in a scuffle after a man involved in the argument attacked him and stole his patrol car Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

The officer was responding to reports of a dispute near Greenfield and McKellips roads at about 3 p.m. The officer found a woman and her 21-year-old son, Anthony Olea, arguing, and the officer approached them.

Olea, who was described as “highly agitated,” refused to calm down or listen to the officer’s orders. The officer used a Taser to subdue Olea, but the attempt failed, said Steve Berry, Mesa police spokesman.

Olea then punched the officer in the face and sped off in the patrol car, authorities said.

Mesa police units saw Olea drive the stolen police vehicle approximately 100 yards and attempt to jump a curb near McKellips and Greenfield roads. The tires blew out, and the suspect fled the scene of the crash, running into a grove of orange trees adjacent to Falcon Field Airport, authorities said.

Olea was arrested after he turned himself in to authorities about 6 p.m., police said.

Traffic was diverted from McKellips and Greenfield roads as well as Brown and Greenfield roads while the incident was investigated. McKellips and Greenfield roads reopened at 6 p.m.

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