Helicopter Searchlight
Photo by Kevin via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Authorities are searching for the driver of a Dodge Charger who rammed a state police vehicle during a traffic stop on Tuesday night and fled the scene, first in his car and then on foot.

The incident began between 9 and 9:30 p.m. in the area of the Circle K on John Wayne Parkway and Bowlin Road, according to Bart Graves, media relations specialist with Arizona Department of Public Safety. A state trooper tried to make a traffic stop on a car, but the driver did not yield, intentionally ramming a DPS patrol vehicle before fleeing the scene.

The Charger then struck a storm drain and became disabled, the suspect getting out of his vehicle and running away on foot, Graves said. DPS had a helicopter brought in to search for the man and Desert Cedars residents reported on Facebook seeing a searchlight sweeping over backyards.

There was no description available on the suspect, who could not be located, DPS said.

Maricopa police Chief Steve Stahl said officers from his department helped assist DPS troopers in the search.

No injuries were reported to DPS or MPD personnel, authorities said.