PHOENIX — Three Phoenix police officers are recovering after a car deliberately plowed into them at a gas station early Tuesday morning.
And now, we are seeing the video of what police are calling an “intentional” attack.
In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Phoenix police Chief Joe Yahner had strong words about the direct assault on his officers.
“They were victims of an unprovoked, violent, intentional attack,” he said. “These officers could have easily been killed, and I thank God we’re not planning three funerals right now.”
Investigators said the officers were standing in the parking lot around 2 a.m. when the male driver hit them, struck a police car and crashed through the front of the store.
Two officers were transported to a hospital with serious injuries but are expected to be OK. The third officer was able to jump out of the way but suffered some injuries during a struggle with the driver during the arrest.
A sergeant with 18 years experience suffered a broken leg. An officer with eight years of experience suffered a minor injury. And an officer who just graduated from the police academy suffered a head injury. It was his first day on the street with his newly assigned squad.
“We are confident this was an intentional act,” Yahner said. “It’s not acceptable.”
The driver of the car was also taken to a hospital. He has been identified as Marc Laquon Payne. He was booked into jail on Tuesday evening.
Yahner said Payne, 44, will face three charges of attempted first-degree murder, and two counts of aggravated assault.
Yahner also released a security video that actually shows the suspect car slamming into the officers in front of the store.
“I am outraged by this incident,” Yahner said. “Our Phoenix police officers were targeted. We have all heard about officers being targeted and ambushed across this nation. But this happened here. This happened in Phoenix. This happened to your Phoenix police officers.”