A Chandler police officer has been reprimanded for using too much force in catching a man suspected in a rash of vending machine burglaries earlier this year.
Using his patrol car, Cmdr. Tom Blaine, a supervisor in the field operations unit, hit 32-year-old Karl A. Frederiksen as he tried to flee police on a bicycle, and then crashed into a brick wall outside a home, according to records released Wednesday.
Blaine declined requests for an interview through police spokeswoman Emma Bribiescas, as did his supervisors, who said they could not comment on personnel matters.
Frederiksen was arrested after being treated for a minor injury to his shin and booked into Maricopa County’s Madison Street Jail in Phoenix on suspicion of thirddegree burglary and possessing burglary tools, class 4 and class 6 felonies, records stated.
Police said Frederiksen and Robert Stratton hit several coin-operated machines as part of a crime spree that began in Gilbert.
An employee at a Mobil gas station at 787 E. Ray Road in Gilbert said two men — one he identified as Stratton — broke into an air and water machine on the property at 11:49 p.m. March 8.
Minutes later, just past midnight on March 9, Gilbert police received a report of a burglary on a Coca-Cola vending machine outside a Bashas’ grocery store at 1919 E. Ray Road, the records stated.
A Gilbert officer spotted two bicyclists matching the thieves’ descriptions at 12:03 a.m. riding west on Ray near McQueen.
Stratton was stopped and later arrested on suspicion of felony burglary and possessing burglar tools, but Frederiksen rode away.
Gilbert asked for assistance when Frederiksen rode into Chandler. Blaine spotted him near Jackson and Harrison streets.
In his supplemental report, Blaine said he slowed down to 20 mph as Frederiksen came riding toward him, weaving from left to right, records stated.
"I turned quickly to the left and caught the rear of his bicycle deliberately," Blaine said. "He fell off the bike and I was unable to avoid striking a block fence with the police car," Blaine wrote.
The letter of reprimand was issued June 4. There was no other discipline, the letter stated.