Arpaio

MCSO Detention Officer Loses Toe in Shootout With Handcuffed DUI Suspect

A man is dead -- and a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office detention officer is missing a toe -- following a shootout on a Phoenix freeway over the weekend.

According to the MCSO, the detention officer -- a drug recognition expert -- was part of a Holiday DUI task force patrolling Valley freeways for impaired drivers over the weekend.

About 9 p.m. Saturday, the detention officer was involved in a traffic stop on I-17 north of Northern Avenue in Phoenix. The officer and a deputy stopped a man on a motorcycle, later identified as 51-year-old Charles Ray Dansby, for speeding.

During the stop, the deputy determined Dansby was under the influence, so he and the detention officer slapped handcuffs on him.

Dansby was wearing a big coat at the time, so the deputy handcuffed him in the front, rather than behind his back, as is typically the way a suspect is restrained while in MCSO custody.

What happened next is currently the focus of an MCSO investigation.

MCSO officials say that as Dansby was getting taken into custody, he reached into his waistband and pulled out a gun. He then fired it at the deputy and detention office, striking the detention officer in the foot.

The officer ultimately lost one of his toes.

After Dansby fired his weapon at the officer, both the deputy and the officer shot Dansby.

It's unclear whose bullet killed Dansby, a father of three with a lengthy criminal record including convictions for child abuse, possession of drug paraphernalia, and shoplifting.

Also under investigation, MCSO spokesman Jesse Spurgin tells New Times, is how Dansby was able to pull out a gun while already handcuffed -- he says "normally, anyone placed in cuffs would be pat searched" first.

Check back for updates.

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James King
Contact: James King