Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Juan Ramirez, 44, was booked on charges of aggravated DUI, criminal damage, and leaving the scene of an accident.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Juan Ramirez, 44, was booked into the Graham County Jail early Sunday morning after allegedly striking another vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene.
Ramirez was booked on charges of aggravated DUI, criminal damage, and leaving the scene of an accident.
According to a Safford Police report, officers were initially dispatched at about 1:17 a.m. to the area of 15th Street and 8th Avenue regarding a hit-and-run collision involving a white, GMC Yukon that had fled the area.
While en route to the scene, an officer saw a white Yukon cross Relation Street while southbound on 5th Avenue.
The officer initiated a pursuit with his emergency lights and siren activated but Ramirez failed to yield and instead turned westbound onto 15th Street. From there, the suspect continued at a slow pace of roughly 20 mph as it approached 8th Avenue.
The vehicle slowed even more and another Safford officer drove southbound on 8th Avenue and blocked the Yukon at the intersection from proceeding any further.
Ramirez was taken into custody at gunpoint and officers learned he wasn’t in possession of a valid driver’s license due to prior DUI convictions. When questioned, Ramirez reportedly admitted to having a “few beers” at a local bar but denied striking the vehicles and having any damage to his Yukon despite the obvious visible damage to the driver’s side.
After failing field sobriety tests, Ramirez was placed under arrest and was taken back to the Safford Police Department, where his blood was taken for testing purposes.
When the DUI investigation was complete, Ramirez was turned over to another Safford officer who was leading the hit-and-run collision investigation and Ramirez was booked into jail on the above-listed charges.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Friday to report the suspect is accused of striking a singular vehicle and not multiple vehicles.