One Norwich Police Officer injured, foot chase leads to one arrest

NORWICH – An Oxford man has been arrested for felony assault and resisting arrest after a foot chase Tuesday night.

23-year-old Caden J. Cruz is set to be arraigned in Norwich City Court Wednesday morning.

At approximately 5:25 p.m. on Tuesday, a Patrol Officer of the Norwich Police Department (NPD) attempted to make contact with an individual on Clinton Street.

According to authorities, the individual ran from the officer and began running through backyards. A second officer was already in the area and he also began searching for the individual.

During the search, the second officer located the individual hiding behind a garage on Clinton Street.

While attempting to take the individual into custody, the individual fought with the officer and the officer was injured. The individual was able to get away and he began running south through backyards.

Even after being injured, the officer continued to pursue the individual on foot.

Taylor Hartwell, a witness to the incident, said, “The officer came running down the street and the entire right side of his face was completely covered in blood. He didn't stop and continued to search for the suspect. I hope he gets recognized for this and people see how officers truly do put themselves in harms way to protect us citizens.”

During the foot pursuit, the initial officer caught the individual behind a residence on Birdsall Street. The individual continued to resist arrest and was able to get away a second time. At this time, the NPD requested the assistance from other law enforcement agencies.

The New York State Police and the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area and assisted the NPD in searching for the individual.

A citizen contacted the police and advised that a suspicious person had been observed in the backyard of a residence on Rowley Avenue.

Another witness, Emma Lindau, said, “ My door was open so I saw him walking up to my porch until he saw me. He started running so I told my kids to stay in the house and I chased after him. He ran through a few yards and I kept going just enough to see the direction he went. By that time there were police everywhere and I eventually found him and the police cornered him between a garage and a fence on Division Street.”

Norwich Officers, Deputies and Troopers responded to the area and another short foot pursuit ensued.

Authorities confirmed that at approximately 6:21p.m., the individual was caught in a driveway on Division Street and was taken into custody without further incident.

Cruz was charged with assault in the second degree, a class D felony; resisting arrest, a class A misdemeanor; and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, a class A misdemeanor.

The charge of assault in the second degree alleges that Cruz intentionally attempted to prevent a police officer from performing a lawful duty, and in so doing, he caused a physical injury to such officer.

The charge of resisting arrest alleges that Cruz also intentionally prevented or attempted to prevent a police officer from effecting an authorized arrest of himself.

The charge of criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument alleges that Cruz knowingly and unlawfully possessed a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle.

It was later confirmed that Cruz had two active Bench Warrants out of the Village of Oxford Court. One was for failure to pay fine and the second warrant was for violation of probation.

The Norwich Fire Department transported the injured officer to the hospital. The officer was treated for a laceration to the head and later released.

“The officer wanted nothing more than to continue searching for Cruz after he got away, but he was encouraged to go to CMH to have his injuries treated,” NPD Chief Rodney Marsh said. “Once it was reported that an officer had been injured and the suspect was still on foot, the response by local law enforcement was overwhelming. We can’t thank the State Police and the Sheriff’s Office enough for their assistance in taking Cruz into custody.”

Additional information will appear following Cruz’s arraignment, and when further information is made available.

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