A man who stole a Jeep and crashed into a Ramsey County sheriff's deputy squad car while fleeing police Wednesday in Arden Hills has been charged with three felonies, including criminal vehicular operation causing substantial bodily harm to a peace officer.
Oscar Delacruz, 33, of St. Paul was also charged with motor vehicle theft and fleeing a peace officer that resulted in an officer sustaining substantial injuries, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Ramsey County District Court.
Just before 10 p.m. Wednesday, an officer in Mounds View spotted the stolen Jeep at a gas station and attempted to stop Delacruz, the complaint said. Delacruz took off and passed vehicles on the shoulder as he drove more than 100 mph along Mounds View Boulevard and Hwy. 10, according to the complaint.
The Mounds View officer did not pursue Delacruz. A Ramsey County deputy in the vicinity heard the call on his radio and activated his emergency lights to help find the fleeing vehicle. Delacruz drove down an exit ramp from Hwy. 10, ran a red light and slammed into the side of the deputy's squad car, according to the complaint.
The impact caused the squad car to strike another vehicle on westbound Hwy. 96. Other officers responding to the scene had to extract the deputy from his squad car, which had caught fire, the complaint said.
The deputy, whose name has not been released, suffered a broken knee cap, broken toe, possible head injury, fractured ribs and a bruised lung in the crash, according to a statement from the Ramsey County Deputies' Federation.
The complaint said the deputy was hospitalized with injuries that required surgery and he "had at least one fracture and his injuries meet the legal definition of substantial bodily harm."
State troopers found a glass pipe with white residue, consistent with a meth pipe, in the Jeep, according to the complaint. The results of the analysis of the glass pipe are pending. Blood tests also are pending, the complaint said.
Delacruz had an active felony warrant for his arrest for fleeing police in a motor vehicle, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said. His driver's license had been revoked.
Delacruz has a criminal history including felony convictions for motor vehicle theft, assault, domestic assault, violating a no-contact order, fleeing police in a motor vehicle, drugs and burglary.
On Thursday, the Ramsey County Deputies' Federation blamed the criminal justice system for being too lenient.
"The systematic failures of the criminal justice system are not the failures of police who continue to arrest the criminals," the union representing sheriff's deputies said in a Facebook post. "The failures are a direct result of our elected officials refusal to hold criminals accountable for their actions."
The Minnesota State Patrol will conduct a crash reconstruction.
Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768