A Milford man was arrested Wednesday night after a confrontation with police in Warsaw.
Warsaw Detective Sergeant Brad Kellar says officers responded to the Quick Clean Laundry on East Winona Avenue around 7:12 PM after a threat to life call was made.
According to a press release, a Winona Lake officer arrived on scene, followed by a Warsaw field training officer who was training a probationary female officer, who took the lead in the investigation.
The complainant was able to point out the suspect in this case who was now seated in the driver’s seat of a gray Ford Focus in front of the main doors of the business. As officers were gathering information, a third Warsaw officer arrived on scene assisting officers already present. From outside of the vehicle, he observed two boxes of ammunition in an interior door pocket as he looked down at the subject seated in the driver’s seat. As a matter of safety, he asked the subject where his gun was. The subject, later identified as 25-ear old Miguel Enrique Delfin Cruz, hesitated then said he left it at home.
The release went on to state that officers tried to persuade Cruz to grab his clothes and leave, rather than needing to file charges against him. Cruz at first did not want to leave his car, but then finally stepped out. As he did, the third officer observed a bulge on the right side of his waistband, relaying that to the supervising field training officer and his probationary officer. As those officers stayed outside, they conducted a radio check with dispatch confirming that Cruz did not possess a license to carry a handgun.
Officers walked in with Cruz as he was stretching up to a top dryer to remove his clothes. It was at that time the female probationary officer observed a sidearm the suspect tucked inside of his jeans and attempted to hide with a phone in his right pocket. She took initiative to move in while he was getting his clothes, grabbing his right arm planning to take him into custody before removing the gun.
It was after that when Cruz began to violently fight with the officers. During the struggle, both officers later reported feeling the suspect intently tugging and pulling on their holstered sidearms to disarm law enforcement. As the physical fight persisted, the suspect was able to take possession of his Ruger LCP 380 loaded firearm, pointing it at the probationary officer’s head, and striking her in the head several times. Simultaneously, the field trainer disengaged from the fight to draw his sidearm preparing to use lethal force. This caused the suspect to point his loaded firearm at the field trainer who was trying to clear for a shot.
The third Warsaw officer and the Winona Lake officer, who were both standing outside at the time, were made known of the fight inside of the laundromat from witnesses. As the Warsaw officer ran in, he observed the suspect with his arm around the neck of the female officer. From his vantage point, he did not see the gun on the opposite side of her head, held by the suspect’s right hand. The officer then proceeded to tackle Cruz against the dryers, which knocked him down. Another officer saw that Cruz still had possession of his handgun, and was able to knock it out of his hand and pushed it away.
The Winona Lake officer used a taser to aid in getting Miguel into handcuffs, as he was still actively resisting. Once he was in custody, the weapon was secured and found to be loaded, with a round in the chamber. Both officers sustained scrapes, cuts and bruises to the arms and the female officer was taken to Kosciusko Community Hospital due to the blows she suffered to the top and forehead. She was released soon after.
Cruz, while in custody, said that he should have killed the female officer, and stated the same to jail staff while being booked into the Kosciusko County Jail.
Detectives are reviewing video surveillance from the laundromat, along with body camera footage from officers on scene. A search warrant was also acquired to search Cruz’s vehicle, which revealed Methamphetamine, Methamphetamine paraphernalia, extended loaded magazine for the suspect’s gun, and two other boxes of .380 ammunition.
No charges were initially announced, however investigators are reviewing a “plethora of charges” against Cruz while continuing to actively investigate this incident. The Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office is assisting WPD in reviewing evidence for all those charges.
Warsaw Police were also assisted by Winona Lake Police, the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, and Lutheran EMS. Upon determination of charges, an update to this press release will be sent out.
This was the third gun-related call that second shift officers responded to during their tour of duty for August 5th.