Phoenix Sheriff's Deputy Dies Days After Uncuffed Suspect Beat Him, Stole Patrol Car

A metro Phoenix sheriff deputy has died days after suffering grave injuries at the hands of a man that he arrested, authorities said.

Deputy Juan "Johnny" Ruiz was injured on Saturday and died on Monday, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said in a statement.

Ruiz arrested Clinton Robert Hurley, the man accused of attacking him, on Saturday morning. Hurley had outstanding warrants for his arrest and Ruiz was transferring him into a holding cell at a substation in suburban Avondale, the Associated Press reported.

Police said Hurley was uncuffed and beat Ruiz, who tried to radio for assistance several times. Hurley took keys from Ruiz, leaving the man bleeding and unconscious, before fleeing in the deputy's vehicle and crashing through a gate, authorities said. Hurley was later arrested after being injured in a gunfight with a homeowner during his escape.

"His loss is a tragedy for our profession and our community," Penzone said. "I am committed to pursuing justice for Deputy Ruiz to the fullest extent of the law against the suspect. Nothing less is acceptable."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Phoenix Police
A metro Phoenix sheriff's deputy died days after suffering serious injuries from an uncuffed suspect he had just arrested, authorities said. A policeman stands guard as supporters and opponents of Arizona's immigration enforcement law face off during a demonstration against illegal immigration on July 31, 2010 in Phoenix. John Moore/Getty Images

Penzone's announcement came after a media briefing earlier in the day where he said Ruiz's family had decided to remove him from life support.

The family planned to donate his organs. "He will be making a sacrifice so that others may benefit," Penzone said.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey ordered flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset Tuesday to honor Ruiz.

Hurley remained hospitalized in stable condition Monday after getting in a gunfight with a homeowner. Authorities anticipate additional charges for Hurley.

Deputies found Ruiz after reports came in of someone suspicious driving a police vehicle. He was rushed to a hospital.

A manhunt for Hurley ensued.

Later in the day, deputies responded to a shooting at a home in Tonopah about 52 miles west of Phoenix. Deputies determined a man fired on the homeowner, Penzone said. The homeowner then shot back and hit the man three times. One bullet resulted in a serious wound.

Deputies attempting first aid recognized Hurley because of his tattoos, Penzone said.

Investigators say Hurley and the homeowner were known to each other but did not say the nature of their relationship.

Hurley was released from an Arizona prison in December after serving time for attempted child molestation, authorities said. It was not known Monday whether he had retained an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Investigators were also searching for a second vehicle they said Hurley stole and abandoned while hiding from authorities.

Ruiz was with the sheriff's office for three years.

Juan Ruiz
Juan "Johnny" Ruiz, a metro Phoenix sheriff's deputy who suffered grave injuries at the hands of a man he had just arrested, succumbed to injuries he suffered on Saturday, October 9, 2021. This undated image released by Maricopa County Sheriff's Office shows Ruiz. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office via AP