EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 6, 2013

Car chase suspect held on $50K bail

Driver accused of striking trooper with Mercedes on Route 93

LAWRENCE — A 22-year-old local man is charged with leading police on a 21-mile car chase that ended in a residential neighborhood in Lawrence as children were waiting for school buses yesterday morning.

Troopers finally used stop sticks to puncture the tires of a Mercedes Benz rental car Juan Delacruz was driving after he allegedly struck State Trooper Matthew Topping who pulled him over earlier on Route 93 north in Woburn.

After the stop, Delacruz sped away and at speeds between 60 and 100 mph, led troopers and local police officers on a chase through Stoneham, Reading, North Reading, Andover and into Lawrence, police said.

Running on three tires and just a rim, Delacruz continued to evade police before he was blocked in and captured by state police and local officers on Willow Street, according to court papers.

Delacruz, of 10 Monmouth St., was held on $50,000 cash bail after his Lawrence District Court arraignment on charges of failure to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, marked lanes violation, speeding, driving after license suspension and use of a motor vehicle without authority.

Judge Michael Brooks also revoked Delacruz’s bail in a pending criminal case for illegal possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Delacruz will also be facing assault and battery charges in Woburn District Court for the alleged assault on Topping.

His passenger in the Mercedes, Rudy Arias-Almonte, 24, of 224 Water St., Lawrence was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. He was released on personal recognizance after his arraignment yesterday.

In court yesterday, Delacruz kept his head down and hid behind defense attorney Joanne McLaughlin. Delacruz, who is unemployed, recently underwent gall bladder surgery, is still bandaged and has a bag that requires medical attention, she said.

Early yesterday morning, he had just dropped off a friend in Roslindale and was heading home on Route 93 north when the trooper approached him, “screamed” at him and told him to pull over his car in the high speed lane, she said.

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