Phoenix police arrested a man who they said tried to recover his friend’s stolen motorcycle and shot a person who was driving it Tuesday in the area of Roosevelt and 9th streets.
Police identified the man arrested as Cole Lane Versteegh, 27. He told police the shooting was in self-defense, court records show.
The motorcycle was reported stolen Friday in Tempe and the registered owner asked for help tracking the motorcycle in Facebook posts, police said. The owner received a notification about it being seen in the area of Roosevelt Street and 9th Street on Tuesday and told friends, including Versteegh.
Court records state Versteegh said he confronted the man who had the motorcycle and told him to wait until the owner arrived. The man said he had bought the motorcycle from someone else and that it belonged to him now, according to Versteegh.
Versteegh said the person had a screwdriver in his hand and was pointing it in his direction, according to court records. He said he was afraid of being injured with it.
The man used the screwdriver to turn on the motorcycle and began driving away, court records state. Versteegh said when the man was 10 feet away he reached toward the back of his waistband area. Versteegh said he was afraid the man was pulling out a weapon so he fired his own handgun at him twice, according to court records.
When the man fell down, Versteegh picked up the motorcycle and moved it to the side of the road. He also called 911.
Police officers arrived and found the handgun in Versteegh’s vehicle. They said a witness told them she saw an argument between Versteegh and the man who had the motorcycle. She said the man started to ride away on the motorcycle, and Versteegh shot him in the back three to four times, court records state.
The registered owner of the motorcycle arrived after police did.
The man who was shot was taken to Banner University Medical Center for surgery. He is unable to talk with police at the moment.
Versteegh was booked into a Maricopa County jail on suspicion of one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is being held in a $75,000 bond and is set to appear in court Feb. 10.
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