By Mark DeLap
A man pointed a rifle at a Maricopa police officer overnight along a street in Tortosa, forcing a four-and-a-half-hour standoff.
MPD officers responding to a report of gunshots around 1 a.m. Friday began canvassing the area when one officer observed a man standing in the lit entryway of a home in the 35000 block of West Marin Avenue, according to police. From his marked patrol car, the officer spoke briefly to the man in an attempt to gather information related to the reported gunshots. As the officer spoke to the man, he raised what appeared to be a rifle and pointed it in the officer’s direction.
As the officer quickly drove away to gain cover, he heard several gunshots coming from the man’s location.
MPD negotiators, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team members and Department of Public Safety troopers quickly arrived on scene to help secure a perimeter around the home, police said.
About 5 a.m., negotiators were able to make phone contact with the man at the home. After nearly 30 minutes of negotiation, he agreed to meet with officers in front of his residence, without incident, police said.
The man, who was not identified, was taken into police custody, according to police, who said the initial investigation into the incident revealed indications that the suspect was under the influence of an illegal drug.
No injuries were reported, and the case is under investigation, police said.
MPD commended the response from DPS and PCSO.
It was the second time in seven weeks that an officer had a gun pointed at them. On April 19, an officer was investigating an open garage door at a Maricopa Meadows home on discovered the homeowner pointing a gun at her. The man was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, police said.
Authorities asked residents in the area to report any information they may have about Friday’s incident to MPD’s non-emergency number at 520-568-3673.