A Payson man who drove around a neighborhood honking and then reportedly rammed a police vehicle is under arrest.

Jason Randel, 45, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, reckless driving, unlawful flight from law enforcement and criminal damage.

The Payson Police Department officer involved in the head-on collision was released from Banner Payson Medical Center and is doing well, according to Police Chief Ron Tischer.

Just before 1 p.m. Monday, the PPD began receiving multiple 911 calls of an erratic driver near Colt and Saddle Blanket in the Payson Ranchos subdivision.

Callers reported a white box truck was being driven around the neighborhood, the driver honking repeatedly.

An officer attempted to stop the truck, however Randel reportedly continued to drive erratically. Additional officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but “the white box truck continued and attempted to back into one of the police vehicles before colliding head-on with another police vehicle,” Tischer said.

Randel drove through a fence and onto a dirt road. He then fled on foot into the forest.

Officers from the Gila County Sheriff’s Office, Tonto Apache Reservation Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety and a DPS Ranger helicopter assisted in the search.

A caller later reported seeing Randel in the 1500 block of North McLane. Officers arrested Randel and booked him into the Gila County Jail.

Contact the editor at abechman@payson.com

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