EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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August 24, 2013

Lawrence officer feared for his life while wrestling armed suspect

Police nab three and recover loaded handgun after home invasion


Then Salach noticed the handle of a gun protruding from the right front pocket of Garcia’s shorts

Noonan said he pulled out a .40 caliber Glock 22 semi automatic pistol from Garcia’s pocket. The gun was loaded with two hollow point rounds in a high capacity magazine. He noted in his report that Garcia continued to resist as the officers walked him to the police cruiser and placed him in the backseat.

Garcia, 20, of 35 Avon St., was charged with threat to commit a crime, resisting arrest, unlawful possession of ammunition, unlawful possession of large capacity firearm, possession of loaded firearm, home invasion and assault on a police officer. Police later recovered a stray hollow point bullet in Garcia’s left pocket.

Also charged were Luis Lugo, 22, and Nelson Rosario, 19, both of 46 Amesbury St.

Police Chief John J. Romero called Noonan “a very good officer” who responded well in a dangerous encounter with a fleeing suspect.

“Clearly, he was in a life and death struggle with this individual,” Romero said in an interview last night.

“The officer was absolutely correct in fearing for his life. He was responding to a report with a man with a gun and the individual he was trying to arrest was combative to the officer, continued to try take his hand out of his pocket and it was later revealed he had a loaded gun in his pocket,” the chief said.

“That weapon that police recovered is no ‘Saturday Special,’ which is a poorly-made and cheap handgun that criminals use. The Glock 22 is a military police caliber weapon used by a lot of law enforcement and military. It’s a sophisticated weapon. Thankfully for the responding officers and the victims of the home invasion, we recovered the weapon without anyone getting harmed,” he said.

Romero commended the officers “for doing a great job, apprehending three individuals who were in the process of committing a home invasion and recovering the weapon as well.”

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