Bethel Heights Identifies Suspect Who Was Shot After Hitting Officer With Car

BETHEL HEIGHTS (KFSM) -- The Bethel Heights Police Department identified a suspect who was shot by officers after he hit one of them with a car.

Cpl. Chasity Mahan said Friday (Sept. 16) the suspect is Justin Ryan Dela Cruz, 20. Dela Cruz was hospitalized Wednesday and is still in stable condition at the hospital, Mahan added. His injures are non-life-threatening.

Dela Cruz is facing charges of solicitation, possession of drug paraphernalia, aggravated assault and second-degree battery, Mahan said.

The two officers involved in the incident at the corner of Lincoln Drive and Apple Blossom Avenue around 11:30 p.m. were Cpl. Nicholas Jones and Officer Juan Hernandez, according to Mahan.

Jones was hit by the car and was transported to Mercy Hospital in Rogers where he was treated and released around 4 a.m. Thursday, Mahan said. He is expected to be okay.

Since officers used deadly force, Arkansas State Police has been asked to investigate. ASP will then present their findings to the Benton County prosecutor who will decide whether the use of force was justified.

Jones and Hernandez are on paid administrative leave during the course of the investigation, which is standard procedure, Mahan said.

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