Youngstown manhunt defendant pleads guilty to shooting at officers

Luis Cruz Ramos appeared in court on Monday and pleaded guilty to 13 charges against him

The Youngstown chase suspect's bond was set at $5 million.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The man at the center of a massive manhunt and two-hour police chase last year pleaded guilty Monday to 13 charges against him — 10 for shooting at police officers.

After almost a year and a number of fits and starts, Luis Cruz Ramos finally agreed to take a deal from prosecutors and avoid going to trial.

He has already been sentenced to 21 years on federal charges. In Mahoning County, Cruz Ramos faces 25 to 30 years for felonious assault and failure to comply charges. Had he gone to trial, he could have been sentenced to 130 years in prison.

Assistant Prosecutor Marty Desmond said previously that Cruz Ramos already had a mandatory 15-year sentence for a firearms violation.

The charges stem from Cruz Ramos firing at police during last spring’s wild chase.

At the time, he was facing a probation violation from a rape conviction in his native Puerto Rico.

Police tried to pull Cruz Ramos over, but he took off and led them on a two-hour chase through Campbell, Youngstown, and Boardman. At one point, prosecutors said he fired several shots at officers, hitting a police cruiser.

Authorities said he did everything he could to get away.

“The fact is it took a lot of steps to hurt people. Several officers, he tried to run over. He shot at officers not once, but two separate episodes, he fired at police,” said Assistant Mahoning County Prosecutor Marty Desmond.

Cruz Ramos ended up crashing his van and running away into Lake Park Cemetery but police found him hiding out in a south side Youngstown home the next day.

After the hearing, prosecutors praised officers involved in the day-and-a-half-long chase for their restraint. They said the only shots fired at Ramos came during his capture after he pointed a gun at U.S. Marshals as they closed in on him.

“In not firing back, in doing everything that they could to try to bring a peaceful resolution to what he was doing. You cannot show enough accolades to them. You cannot show enough praise for the way that they handled the situation,” Desmond said.

Cruz Ramos will be sentenced next Monday.


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