A Maricopa County Sheriff Office’s deputy who was reportedly assaulted by a suspect has since died from his injuries.
Deputy Juan Miguel Ruiz, a three-year veteran of the county, was injured at roughly 10:55 a.m. Oct. 9 while processing the suspect, later identified as 30-year-old Clinton Robert Hurley, who had two outstanding warrants.
After attempting to put Hurley in one of the holding cells at a substation near Van Buren Street and Dysart Road in Avondale, a fight ensued between the suspect and the deputy, with Ruiz attempting to call for backup unsuccessfully.
Ruiz was found unconscious with a bleeding face by fellow deputies in the area, according to a public statement from Sheriff Paul Penzone posted on the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Facebook page. Ruiz was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support.
But as of Oct. 11, Ruiz succumbed to his injuries, never regaining consciousness. During a press conference, Penzone said Ruiz’s family decided to donate his organs, with the vitality of the organs to be tested in the coming days.
According to the statement by Penzone, Hurley was previously incarcerated for sex offenses against children and was released from the Department of Corrections in December.
“It’s time to make a choice. Yes, law enforcement has to be better, but it’s time to make a choice that there are evil people in this world that wish to do you harm and your children and men and women in uniform,” Penzone said. “This is the perfect example of what evil looks like.”
Hurley is said to have fled the scene of the incident in the deputy’s SUV, crashed the vehicle through a fence at the substation and subsequently carjacked another unknown vehicle. He was considered armed and dangerous, with a history of violence.
The MCSO, along with other police agencies, including Phoenix and Avondale police departments, took part in the search for Hurley, who has since been located. The MCSO put out a $10,000 reward sponsored by Silent Witness for information leading to his arrest.
Around 6:30 p.m. Oct. 9, MCSO received a call about a shooting in the Tonopah area, Penzone said during a follow-up public announcement.
Hurley is accused of attempting to burglarize a house in the Tonopah area whose homeowner he has a history of conflict with. The homeowner and Hurley exchanged gunfire, resulting in Hurley being shot three times, one critical.
Tactical units in the area found a wounded Hurley immediately nearby. He was transported to the hospital, where he is in stable condition.
“That investigation is fluid and ongoing,” Penzone said. “But it is with a sense of relief that I express to you that I am glad to know that he is off of our streets.”