YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Police found an escaped sexual assault suspect Friday after he led several local police agencies on a two-hour chase Wednesday night into Thursday.
Police found Luis Cruz Ramos, 30, on the south side of Youngstown just after 1 p.m. following a tip that he had been hiding out in the neighborhood.
Police initially spotted Ramos walking in the 200 block of Lowell Avenue. When officers with the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force approached him near a house at the corner of Erie Street and Maywood Drive, they said he drew a gun. Shots were fired, but it is not clear how many. Police said that no shots were fired by Ramos.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is handling the investigation into the exchange of gunfire.
Someone shot Ramos in the leg, according police, and he is in stable condition at Saint Elizabeth Health Center.
“Today, they spotted him, gave foot chase to him. He pulled a gun on them, our guys shot back. So good guys: 1, bad guys: 0,” said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliot in a press conference Friday afternoon.
Police in Campbell were monitoring Ramos after being tipped off that he had a felony warrant out of Puerto Rico for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. On Wednesday, officers attempted to stop him but he took off, driving a white van through the streets of Campbell, Youngstown and Boardman before crashing on Interstate 680, near Midlothian Boulevard.
At one point, he fired several shots at officers, hitting a police cruiser. He then ran into nearby Lake Park Cemetery, where he eluded police.
A manhunt was launched with police calling Ramos “our most wanted fugitive.”
Ramos’ last known address is 223 Lowell Avenue, one block around the corner from where he was captured at Erie and Maywood. The family living on the first floor of the house said Ramos moved in about a month ago. They told First News that his bedroom was filled with pictures of his kids, and he always treated them well.
Ramos moved to that house on Lowell from an apartment at 3847 Murray Ave. in Campbell. A neighbor said Ramos went by an alias in the neighborhood, where he had lived about a year. He worked hard, doing odd jobs like plowing snow, and those living in the area had no idea he was wanted on rape charges.
“He should burn in hell. Why would you want to rape somebody? A 14-year-old girl? Come on, man. That could be your daughter. That could be niece, stepsister, whatever,” said one neighbor on Friday.
That neighbor said Ramos lived with a wife and children and mostly kept to himself inside.
Ramos was charged with two counts of felonious assault in connection to the police chase in Youngstown. He is also being held on the outstanding warrant out of Puerto Rico. Police say he will face charges here before he is extradited to Puerto Rico.