Unlicensed contractor arrested during chase along Interstate 17 in Phoenix


An unlicensed contractor who was wanted by authorities had a bloody arrest during his encounter with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Michael Lee Cox, 53, of Phoenix, was arrested Sunday night after he was found walking in the median on Interstate 17.

According to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, Mr. Cox was wanted on a warrant issued by the San Marcos Justice Court in June, after he failed to appear at a June 17 pre-trial conference following a charge of contracting without a license, a Class 1 misdemeanor. The  ROC said Mr. Cox and DBA Cox Contracting LLC had contracted to complete roof repairs, install windows, and paint the outside of a Sun Lakes home. Mr. Cox was paid $7,250 for poor work that he unsuccessfully tried to repair several times before abandoning the job, the ROC states.

The homeowner ended up paying an additional $2,936 to have a licensed contractor fix the roof when it continued to leak after Mr. Cox’s work.

Mr. Cox was also wanted on a warrant issued by the North Valley Justice Court after he failed to appear at a June 2 pre-trial conference after being charged with contracting without a license. Mr. Cox had contracted to perform a remodeling project on a Phoenix home for $5,735.

According to court documents, around 10 p.m. Sunday, DPS responded to reports of a pedestrian walking in the median of I-17 near Bell Road. The man was holding a large pipe and a hammer in his hands. DPS ordered him to put the items down, but he refused and continued walking across the northbound lanes where he was almost struck by a vehicle, records state.

DPS said Mr. Cox made it to the emergency lane and started running north.

A trooper used his vehicle to follow Mr. Cox, who then stopped and again raised the objects. However, he took off running once again.

The trooper then chased Mr. Cox on foot, using a Taser to slow him down and then tackling him to the ground, records state.

The trooper called for fire and medical officials as Mr. Cox was bleeding profusely from the head, records state.

According to the ROC, Mr. Cox was jailed on bonds and fees totaling $2,100. He is due in court Monday.

The ROC frequently receives complaints where an unlicensed entity’s work begins as small projects and increases in price and complexity to a point where they are unable or unwilling to complete or correct the work, a release states. In these cases, the homeowner is often out of luck. The ROC reminds property owners to ask contractors of their license status and to check the license using the contractor search at www.roc.az.gov or giving the agency a call at 1-877-692-9762.