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Thread: AZ DPS Ofc. Killed in chase
12-19-09, 12:04 AM #1
AZ DPS Ofc. Killed in chase
DPS officer killed in horrible high speed chase gone wrong - Phoenix Arizona news, breaking news, local news, weather radar, traffic from ABC15 News | ABC15.com
PHOENIX -- An Arizona DPS officer was struck and killed by another officer's patrol car late Thursday while he was laying down spike strips to stop a car during a high-speed freeway chase.
Now, the female driver who apparently started the chase is expected to be charged with murder for his death.
The 28-year-old victim, Chris Marano, was deploying stop sticks on the Loop 101 when he was hit, according to DPS Spokesperson Steve Harrison.
In a news conference Friday morning, Harrison said this is the first Arizona line of duty death in 2009.
"It's a terrible tragedy and it's compounded by it's a week before Christmas," he said.
The police pursuit that led to Marano's death began about 9:15 p.m. Thursday after a vehicle was spotted on the freeway with a stolen license plate, Harrison said.
As a DPS officer pursued the suspect west on the Loop 101, Marano apparently laid down spike strips to disable the car as it approached 7th Street.
Harrison said the suspect vehicle veered into the right shoulder, while the pursuing DPS patrol vehicle remained in the right travel lane, striking Marano.
The 28-year-old victim was hospitalized at John C. Lincoln Hospital in critical condition but later died.
The law officer driving the squad car that hit him sustained an injured hand and was also hospitalized, Harrison said.
Harrison said the injured officer is devastated by what has happened.
"He knows he struck the officer. And now he knows that his actions contributed to the officer's death," Harrison said. "He's having a very difficult time with that, as you can well imagine."
Marano is a 3.5 year veteran of DPS, and leaves behind a wife and 4 kids. The kids are ages 7, 5, 5, and 4 months.
Harrison said the family is asking for condolences to be sent to a Legacy.com obit page.
An account to help the family is expected to be set up soon.
"We're pretty fortunate that it doesn't happened very often," said Harrison. "But that's one reason why we try to use stop sticks and other pursuit management tools, so we don't have to put ourselves or the public in risky situations."
After the collision, the chase continued west on the Loop 101.
The suspect ended up hitting at least one DPS vehicle, then eventually abandoned her car and fled on foot around Fifth Avenue and Tonopah.
"Clearly she facilitated this event. All she had to do was stop, pull over to the shoulder and there would have never been a pursuit or this traffic collision resulting in the death of Officer Marano," Harrison said.
Harrison said police searched the area using a K-9 unit and eventually cornered the 43-year-old female suspect.
That suspect has now been identified as Georgia Lynn Baker of Phoenix.
Baker apparently attempted to flee again after being cornered, but was bitten by a police dog. She was taken into custody and sent to a hospital for treatment.
She remains in the hospital and will undergo minor surgery.
Harrison said it's believed she was high on drugs during the pursuit.
Although authorities don't believe Baker actually hit Marano with her vehicle, Harrison said she's expected to be charged with felony murder in his death.
Court records show she has already served 3 years in state prison for charges based on forgery, burglary and stolen vehicles.
In 2002, she was arrested by Tempe Police for reportedly stealing a car belonging to her ex-boyfriend’s mother.
She was sentenced to 6 months in Maricopa County jail and 3 years probation.
According to the probation report, she “possesses an ongoing arrest history” and “has been arrested in at least three states.”
Court paperwork shows this may have been the second vehicle reported stolen from that address.
“After the truck was stolen, Ronald left to look for it, never came back, and was found murdered. On March 11, 2002, Georgia Baker was found in Ronald’s truck and arrested by Phoenix Police, then released.”
There are no charges listed related to the truck or to Ronald Gourley’s death.
In 2004, Baker was found in another vehicle Prescott Police officers determined to be stolen.
According to that court paperwork:
Baker provided police with a drivers license bearing the name Melody Zellner, and she and (Christopher) Ness then ran from police, and remained in the woods for several days. During a search of the car numerous items from Atlas Design Center were found. These items included checkbooks, several printers, scanners, a computer, and credit card machine. Baker was later contacted in Chandler where she was arrested and declined to answer questions.
Baker was charged in Yavapai County on a number of counts, including theft of means of transportation, theft, and burglary.
She was sentenced in 2005 to three years in state prison on these charges.
Baker was released from Arizona Department of Corrections custody on September 17, 2007.
Probation reports show she "completed Substance Abuse treatment through New Arizona Families" in January 2008.
A September 2009 report also said she “attempted suicide in October of 2008, and has been diagnosed with depression. She is currently seeing a psychiatrist and taking medications for her illness."
Court records indicate Baker “is divorced and does not have any children.”
The records also show she has an extensive FTA (failure to appear in court) history.
Share your condolences and thoughts about the death by clicking "add a comment" at the bottom of this page.
Stay with ABC15.com for updates.
Statement from Officer Marano's wife
I'm sorry..I don't really know what to say. Chris was the kind of guy who had a tough exterior, but was putty in his girls' hands, a diamond in the rough. He worked hard to make a difference in life, and better the future of his children. Chris always told me to "shoot for the moon, if you only reach the stars, its ok...The view is still amazing"
He was the love of my life, my world and my knight in shining armor. He managed to make it through 5 1/2 years in the Navy and came home unharmed. Being an officer was what he dreamed of, he was working towards going to S.W.A.T. He was a loving and caring father, and a wonderful husband that I'm going to miss terribly. He will be FOREVER in my heart and always in my dreams.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
<Shake and Bake>
12-19-09, 12:32 AM #2'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'
“A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” Sigmund Freud
12-19-09, 03:06 AM #3
Damn, that has to suck. My condolences.
Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.
Not a LEO
In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.
12-19-09, 06:20 AM #4
Damn!Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
12-19-09, 06:34 AM #5
I hate reading stuff like this... RIP.
12-19-09, 07:09 AM #6
Rest in peace.
12-19-09, 08:29 AM #7
That is so very sad.
May he rest in peace.
12-19-09, 09:32 AM #8
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and like it, never really care for anything else.
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12-20-09, 10:44 AM #9CopsRCool302 Guest
12-20-09, 12:23 PM #10
Trumpet Call , As The Sun , Sinks In Fright
Sleep In Peace , Comrade Dear
GOD Is Near
Rest in peace , Ofc. Marano. Condolences to family , friends and colleagues.
"It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
-General Omar Bradley, United States Army
12-20-09, 12:27 PM #11
RIP...prayers out for his family and the poor guy that hit him.--"D.B.A.D." --Me
--Life's tough...it's tougher if you're stupid.
--"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped." -Elbert Hubbard
12-26-09, 10:59 AM #12
12-26-09, 05:37 PM #13
I remember the same type of incident occurred before, but I cannot remember where/when. I'll have to see if I still have that training video.
RIP brother"never bring paws to a gunfight" - Jenna
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