Motor-home incident disrupts I-19
By Alexis Huicochea
arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 12.06.2008
A man who pointed a gun at paramedics when they responded to his Rio Rico home to check on him Friday led police on a pursuit that ended when he lost control of his vehicle, disrupting traffic on Interstate 19 for hours.
The incident began around 8:15 a.m. when the man's wife called asking for help because her husband, who is on medication, was depressed and agitated, according to Santa Cruz Sheriff Tony Estrada.
She apparently also called the Fire Department, which arrived at the home before officers did, Estrada said.
As the ambulance arrived, the man darted out of his home with a gun.
The first responders backed off and called police.
By the time officers arrived, the man had gotten into his motor home.
In an attempt to flee, he crashed into a couple of his own vehicles as he left, Estrada said.
Officers began following the man, who was going the speed limit but refused to pull over.
He got on I-19, and Santa Cruz County deputies eventually stopped following him, letting the Department of Public Safety take over, Estrada said.
Around 8:50 a.m., DPS officers located the motor home, said Officer Carmen Figueroa, a DPS spokeswoman.
Officers tried to stop it, but the driver instead began driving dangerously, weaving between lanes.
South of San Xavier on northbound I-19, DPS officers punctured the tires using a spike strip, Figueroa said, causing the man to lose control and run off the road, coming to a stop east of the interstate.
He suffered minor injuries, Figueroa said, and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The man's name had not been released Friday night, as he had not been arrested.
Santa Cruz County intends to take over the investigation once the man is released from the hospital, Estrada said.
It took several hours for traffic to return to normal.
Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at 573-4242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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