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Deputy Beaten By Child Molester Will Be Taken Off Life Support

Phoenix, AZ – A Maricopa County sheriff’s deputy will not recover from the wounds he sustained when he was attacked by a convicted child molester he arrested on outstanding warrants on Saturday morning.

The incident began shortly before 11 a.m. on Oct. 9 after Maricopa County Deputy Juan “Johnny” Ruiz arrested 30-year-old Clinton Hurley, a convicted child molester, on multiple felony warrants, KTAR reported.

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said Deputy Ruiz took Hurley into the Maricopa County sheriff’s station in Avondale to process him, KTVK reported.

Sheriff Penzone said Deputy Ruiz removed Hurley’s handcuffs and was putting him into a jail cell when the prisoner turned on him and began fighting.

The sheriff said Deputy Ruiz tried to call for help several times on his radio as he was being beaten unconscious by Hurley, KTVK reported.

After violently attacking the deputy, Hurley stole the keys to Deputy Ruiz’s vehicle, crashed through the gate, and fled the area.

Sheriff Penzone said that a citizen who saw a sheriff’s department vehicle being driven by somebody who wasn’t a deputy called 911 and reported it, KTVK reported.

He said deputies who responded to the holding cell found Deputy Ruiz unconscious.

The sheriff said the deputies rushed Deputy Ruiz toward a hospital in a patrol vehicle and passed him to paramedics in an ambulance who met them halfway, KTVK reported.

A multijurisdictional manhunt for Hurley ensued and a $10,000 reward was offered for information leading to his capture.

Officials said that Hurley tried to enter a home in Tonopah at about 6:30 p.m. the same day, KPNX reported.

The homeowner shot him.

Sheriff Penzone said that Hurley had a history with the homeowners, KTVK reported.

One of the Maricopa County deputies who responded to the shooting recognized Hurley’s tattoos as he was rendering aid to the wounded suspect and identified him as Deputy Ruiz’s attacker.

Hurley remained in the hospital in serious-but-stable condition, KTVK reported.

On Monday, Sheriff Penzone announced that Deputy Ruiz had not regained consciousness after the beating and was not expected to recover.

The sheriff said the deputy’s family had made the difficult decision to remove the deputy from life support and that medical staff were conducting testing to determine the viability of the hero’s organs for donation, KTVK reported.

“Over the next few days, he will be making a sacrifice so that others may benefit,” Sheriff Penzone told reporters on Oct. 11.

Deputy Ruiz joined the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office just under three years ago.

The sheriff said during an earlier press conference that Hurley had been released from prison in December of 2020 after serving 10 years in prison for attempted child molestation, KPNX reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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