BOSTON, Oct. 7, 2013—A man accused of stealing a Boston Police cruiser and using it to strike a pursuing officer was ordered held on high bail at his arraignment today, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
WILFREDO RODRIGUEZ (D.O.B. 10/20/75) was arraigned in South Boston District Court on charges of armed assault with intent to murder, receiving a stolen motor vehicle, breaking and entering a vehicle at night with intent to commit a felony, leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury, possession of burglarious tools, resisting arrest, operating with a suspended license, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, as well as a second docket charging receiving stolen property over $250 and possession of burglarious tools.
Assistant District Attorney William Champlin requested that Rodriguez be held on $250,000 bail and that he wear a GPS monitor, stay away from South Boston, abide by a curfew, and stay away from and have no contact with any victims or witnesses if he posts bail. Judge Michael Bolden set bail in the amount of $150,000 with orders that Rodriguez wear a GPS monitor, remain under house arrest, and stay away and have no contact with victims and witnesses in the case. He set an additional bail of $100 on the second docket.
According to prosecutors, Boston Police officers responded to Baxter Street in South Boston shortly before 4:00 a.m. Saturday for a report of a person breaking into a motor vehicle. On arrival, they encountered Rodriguez, who allegedly fled through several backyards and ignored police commands to stop.
Rodriguez entered an unoccupied Boston Police cruiser at the intersection of Baxter and E streets and drove the vehicle onto Baxter Street, which was blocked by another police vehicle, prosecutors said. He then reversed the cruiser at a high rate of speed, according to prosecutors.
While attempting to flee, prosecutors allege, Rodriguez twice struck an officer and knocked the officer to the ground, leading other officers to discharge their department-issued firearms. No one was struck, but the officers’ discharges will be investigated by Boston Police and Suffolk prosecutors under the policies of both agencies.
Police pursued Rodriguez along E Street and onto Old Colony Avenue, where Rodriguez crashed into a guardrail at the JFK/UMass MBTA station, prosecutors said. He was apprehended after an attempt to flee on foot, prosecutors said.
Officers at the scene of the reported vehicle break-in were able to locate a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a broken rear driver’s side window. The vehicle’s owner confirmed for police that his vehicle had been broken into and that there were an iPod, headphones, sneakers, and other items inside that did not belong to him, prosecutors said. Police also discovered a second vehicle in the area, a Mercedes Benz C230, that had been broken into as well. Investigators believe the items found in the Jeep had been taken from the Mercedes.
In addition, officers recovered clothing, a screwdriver, pliers, and other items that Rodriguez allegedly discarded as he fled through backyards, prosecutors said.
Rodriguez was uninjured during the incident. Two Boston Police officers were treated at Tufts Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries they sustained prior to Rodriguez’ arrest; at least one of them has been released from care.
Rodriguez, who has prior convictions for breaking and entering, receiving stolen property, and similar offenses in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2012, was represented for bail purposes by attorney Tom Caldwell. He will return to court on Oct. 10 for the appointment of counsel.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.