Kevin Hevel. Photo from Glendale Police Department
Published September 22, 2017
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – A Navajo Nation Police Officer has been taken into custody by the Glendale Police Department and booked on charges of manslaughter, felony endangerment, driving under the influence and failure to stay at the scene of an accident causing death.
At approximately 12:13 a.m., Glendale Police dispatched an attempt to locate a possible impaired driver who was driving a red SUV, striking curbs and traveling eastbound on West Glendale Avenue from North 75th Avenue.
An officer in the area reported that the driver of the red SUV sideswiped another SUV that was traveling in the same direction. Occupants of that vehicle were not injured.
The red SUV continued on and struck a bicyclist traveling westbound. The bicyclist identified as Peter Ranking, 50 years old, was pronounced deceased on scene. The red SUV continued on, running a red light and striking a fully marked patrol SUV. The officer sustained minor injuries.
The driver of the red SUV was detained by officers, transported to a local valley hospital for non life-threatening injuries and identified as Kevin Hevel, 30.
A DUI investigation was conducted and probable cause had been developed in arresting the male driver.
Hevel has been a member of the Navajo Nation Police Department since November 2007. He was a patrol officer assigned to the Window Rock District. The officer was attending police related training in Paradise Valley when the incident occurred.
Navajo Nation Police Chief Phillip Francisco said that Hevel has been in good standing with the department and was not known to have a problem with alcohol.
“The fact that one of my Navajo Police Department officers was involved in this incident is very troubling and disappointing to me,” Chief Francisco said. “The on and off duty conduct of police officers is extremely important because as law enforcement officers, we are entrusted with the safety of the public. I have always stressed that we hold ourselves to higher standards. My condolences and apologies go out to the victims in this incident.”
Glendale Police Vehicular Crime Detectives have taken over the investigation.