2 Mesa officers on leave after incident with 15-year-old robbery suspect

Jun 7, 2018, 5:58 PM | Updated: Aug 17, 2018, 3:54 pm

PHOENIX — More officers with the Mesa Police Department have been placed on paid leave following an incident involving a 15-year-old who was arrested and charged with multiple charges, including robbery and aggravated assault.

Detective Nik Rasheta said Thursday that two officers were placed on administrative leave following a review of body-worn camera footage and an internal investigation of the May 16 incident.

The incident, according to police documents, involved a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl.

It stemmed from a Circle K convenience store near Country Club Drive and McLellan Road, when cops were called after the 15-year-old allegedly pointed a sawed-off .22 caliber rifle at the store and at least one patron. He also allegedly smashed in a car windshield, according to police documents.

Officers detained the two suspects in front of a residence approximately a half-mile from the Circle K without incident. The rifle and a backpack were found on a patio.

Court documents said the boy told police that blood on his hands and shirt was from “officers slamming his face on the ground” but that he did not have any injuries.

They were charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery with a deadly weapon, theft of a means of transportation and aggravated robbery.

Body camera footage from the incident showed the 15-year-old resisting and using graphic language as officers were detaining him.

At one point, the boy could be heard screaming as an officer puts pressure on his head and neck while asking where the gun is.

The two officers who were placed on leave were not identified.

The announcement came shortly after five additional officers were placed on leave after video surfaced of them repeatedly punching an unarmed man who had been talking on his cellphone.

The officers were later identified as Jhonte Jones, Rudy Monarrez, Ernesto Calderon, Robert Gambee and William Abbiatti.

Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista will address the public Friday “on the details of this use of force investigation and will also address his plans regarding the department’s policies, procedures and training moving forward. ”

NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the incident occurred May 17.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News


Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Dec. 1-3

Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news over the weekend, including weather impacts across the state and more.

3 hours ago

Phoenix police...

3 arrested for brutal murder near North Mountain in Phoenix

The Phoenix Police Department made three arrests on Saturday for a murder which happened on Nov. 26 near 7th Avenue and Cinnabar Avenue.

6 hours ago

Renovations of Wildflower Tempe ahead of its grand reopening. (Adler Public Relations photo)...

Tom Kuebel

Wildflower debuts renovations for grand reopening in Tempe

The Wildflower restaurant hosted its grand reopening after making several renovations to its location in Tempe.

9 hours ago

(KTAR News/Peter Samore)...

Casa Grande man sentenced for smuggling meth through San Luis Port of Entry

A man from Casa Grande was sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempting to smuggle more than 30 pounds of meth through the San Luis Port of Entry.

11 hours ago

Emma Stone receives a 5-timers robe from SNL veterans Tina Fey and Candice Bergen. (YouTube screens...

Arizona-native Emma Stone hosts SNL for 5th time, joining exclusive club

Arizona native Emma Stone was joined by Tina Fey and Candice Bergen who welcomed her to the illustrious five-timers club for hosting Saturday Night Live.

13 hours ago

Fountain Hills native Nicholas Hambruch was announced as lead for the new "Shrek the Musical" comin...

David Veenstra

Valley native cast as lead of new touring version of ‘Shrek’ musical

An all-new version of "Shrek the Musical" with Fountain Hills native Nicholas Hambruch starring as Shrek is coming to Phoenix in March.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Follow @KTAR923...

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

2 Mesa officers on leave after incident with 15-year-old robbery suspect