Man accused of assaulting Phoenix officer in incident that led to Loop 202 closure

May 14, 2019, 3:06 PM | Updated: May 15, 2019, 9:23 am

PHOENIX — A man was arrested Tuesday afternoon for an alleged assault on a Phoenix police officer that led to a closure of a major freeway in the East Valley ahead of rush hour.

Juan Luis Beltran, 34, is accused of driving away from a convenience store near 24th and Roosevelt streets with an officer caught in the car door.

Sgt. Vince Lewis said in an email that the unidentified officer was not dragged and was able to separate from the vehicle without harm.

Lewis said the officer was originally called to the scene around 2:30 p.m. in response to a theft call. Beltran was accused of stealing an alcoholic beverage from the store.

Beltran was seated in his vehicle when an unidentified officer tried to remove the keys from the car.

He drove away but was eventually stopped on Loop 202 eastbound near Broadway Road in Mesa.

The pursuit and arrest led to the temporary closure of the freeway around 3 p.m. It reopened by 4 p.m.

Beltran was later booked into jail on one count of aggravated assault on police, aggravated DUI, theft, resisting arrest and unlawful flight from police.

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Man accused of assaulting Phoenix officer in incident that led to Loop 202 closure