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Wilbraham shoplifting suspect accused of pointing taser at officer

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Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 11:29 AM EDT
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WILBRAHAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - One person is under arrest after a shoplifting call led to a violent struggle with police.

Wilbraham Police Capt. Shawn Baldwin said that officers were called to The Home Depot on Boston Road just before 3 p.m. Wednesday for a reported shoplifting. The suspects, he added, were a “known group” that targeted Home Depot locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut for copper wire.

The suspects had fled by the time police arrived.

Approximately a half-hour later, officers were called back to the store for another shoplifting report. When they arrived, they saw two men leave the store with over $1,600 worth of romex wire. The suspects were ordered to stop, but fled on foot.

There was a short foot pursuit and one of the suspects began to struggle with an officer on the ground. Police ordered the suspect to stop resisting several times, but he reportedly refused.

Baldwin explained that the suspect began to yell in Spanish to Jorge Luis Maldonado-Ramos to help by “grabbing it.” At that time, Maldonado-Ramos was also ordered to step back, but he allegedly refused.

The officer drew his taser and, while still struggling with the first suspect, ordered Maldonado-Ramos back, but refused.

“During this course of events, the officer observed the suspect on the ground staring at his taser, and Maldonado-Ramos staring at his firearm,” Baldwin added.

During the struggle with the first suspect, the officer was able to position his gun away from Maldonado-Ramos and ordered him to stay away. The suspect on the ground then grabbed the taser and taser holster off of the officer and tossed to Maldonado-Ramos.

The officer disengaged from the first suspect and Maldonado-Ramos allegedly pointed the taser at the officer. Baldwin said the officer stepped back, drew his gun, and ordered Maldonado-Ramos to drop the taser. He complied, but both suspects then fled on foot.

Backup arrived on-scene and an off-duty Hampden police sergeant found Maldonado-Ramos and took him into custody. The other suspect fled in a vehicle and a pursuit began, but was called off quickly because of safety concerns.

Maldonado-Ramos is facing several charges including armed robbery, two counts of assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, larceny over $1,200, and possession of a dangerous weapon. He is being held on $25,000 bail.