Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Timothy Benavidez was booked into the jail after running from the police.
Incident causes injury to officer’s leg and rips his pants
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – A Safford officer suffered a minor leg injury and damaged pants Saturday, April 20, when he assisted an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper take a wanted man into custody.
Timothy Paul Benavidez, 29, of Mesa, was arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on multiple warrants and a charge of criminal damage. Prior to his incarceration, however, he gave the officers a bit of trouble.
The Safford officer responded to the area of 8th Avenue and U.S. Highway 70 at about 8:57 p.m. to assist the trooper with a traffic stop.
Upon arrival, the officer noticed the trooper attempt to place Benavidez under arrest for warrants. However, Benavidez fled on foot southbound on 8th Avenue and then onto Main Street.
After several warnings, the DPS trooper deployed his TASER but the probes did not work. As Benavidez began to run again, the Safford officer tackled him to the ground. A scuffle ensued and the officer’s pants were ripped and his leg began to bleed.
Benavidez wrangled his way out of the officer’s grasp and began to flee again. At that point, the Safford officer got up and began pursuit again and advised he would use his TASER if the suspect didn’t stop. As Benavidez turned to run again, the officer deployed his TASER and struck Benavidez’s torso. Benavidez immediately went to the ground but then continued to resist after the initial shock was over. The officer then applied a direct contact TASER stun to Benavidez’s leg and both his and the trooper were then able to take Benavidez into custody.
During questioning, Benavidez advised he wasn’t injured but the DPS trooper requested paramedics evaluate him anyway. He was later taken to jail by the trooper and booked on his warrants as well as criminal damage for the officer’s ripped pants, which are valued at $75.