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Westchester Pair Face Multiple Charges After High-Speed Chase

White Plains Federal Court.
White Plains Federal Court. Photo Credit: File

A pair of men from Westchester are facing a series of federal felony charges after allegedly taking local police on a wild, high-speed chase before ramming into an FBI vehicle, officials announced.

Geoffrey Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the arrests of Yonkers residents Harry Quintana-Cruz. 26, and Alejandro Ortiz-Cruz, 18, both of whom were charged in a complaint with forcibly assaulting, resisting, and interfering with FBI Special Agents by colliding into their vehicle after a high-speed car chase.

On June 1, Quintana-Cruz - who is a convicted felon - fled on foot from officers of the U.S. Probation Office who sought to meet with him regarding non-compliance with the terms of his supervised release. Quintana-Cruz allegedly arranged for his younger brother to pick him up in a car, at which point a police chase ensued with Ortiz-Cruz behind the wheel.

Berman said that during the pursuit, Ortiz-Cruz drove through red lights, failed to stop at stop signs, and proceeded in the wrong direction on several one-way streets.  At one point, the vehicle approached two law enforcement cars blocking an intersection, one of which was an FBI car.  Instead of slowing down, the defendants’ vehicle rammed into the FBI car and continued driving for several blocks before finally stopping as a result of a second collision.

Both men have been charged with one count of assaulting, resisting, and interfering with their arresting officers, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Quintana-Cruz was also charged with one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, which carries a potential additional 10 years behind bars.

“Thankfully, the FBI, the United States Probation Office, and the Yonkers Police Department put the brakes on this car chase quickly and safely,” Berman said in a statement. “Quintana-Cruz and Ortiz-Cruz are now in custody and facing federal felony charges.”

“We have a responsibility to the public to protect them from criminals who pay no heed to the danger they place innocent people in while trying to evade law enforcement,” FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney, Jr. added. “Luckily in this case, no one was hurt.  We want to thank our law enforcement partners in this investigation, and appreciate their dedication to the safety of the community.”

Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner noted that “this incident highlights both the dangers our law enforcement officers face every day, and the shared commitment the Yonkers Police Department has with our local and Federal partners in apprehending those individuals who dare to commit acts of violence in our communities. I applaud our officers, the FBI’s Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, and the U.S. Probation Office for their exceptional efforts in making these arrests.”

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