A Mesa man was in custody Thursday facing charges of resisting arrest and reckless driving after a Wednesday afternoon chase ended with the man being Tasered by officers, police said.
According to Mesa police spokesman Steve Berry, the incident began when David Compala, 20, pulled out of a convenience store at Alma School Road and Birchwood Avenue without stopping first, cutting off a police patrol car in traffic. Sitting behind the suspect at a red light, the officer ran a license plate check, revealing that the 2008 Saturn had been reported stolen.
When the signal changed, Compala sped away. The officer trailed behind, flashing his lights and sirens, but the driver did not stop. Not wanting to initiate a high speed pursuit, the officer stayed back and alerted other patrol units in the area to the situation, Berry said.
With stop-sticks at the ready, police waited for Compala near the intersection of Nina and Broadway roads. According to Berry, Compala drove to the area and sped directly toward a police officer who was standing outside his patrol car.
Berry said the officer feared that the suspect was attempting to run him down, so the officer jumped out of the way. Instead, Berry said Compala went veering past, running a stop sign and colliding with another vehicle at the intersection, causing both cars to spin out.
Police said Compala immediately got out of the car and tried to escape. Several officers tackled the suspect, who continued to fight until one of the officers Tasered him to the ground, where he was finally arrested.
Four officers received minor injuries in the scuffle and were treated at Banner Desert Medical Center, Berry said.
Compala’s condition is not known, although he was admitted to a local hospital following his arrest. Berry said he is also being charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and assault on a police officer.