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Salem man involved in striking police cruisers gets prison time

BRENTWOOD — A Salem man accused of striking three police cruisers and injuring two officers during a pursuit in March will spend three years in prison for violating parole and fleeing from Salem police in his car during a domestic incident two years ago.

A Salem Circuit Court judge on Thursday imposed a two-year prison sentence for Luis Figueroa, 30, for his June 2012 flight from police. Figueroa is also serving a one-year prison sentence for violating probation from a 2008 drug conviction in Hillsborough County.

The prison term upends Figueroa’s bid in Rockingham County Superior Court to lower his $1.5 million cash bail from his March 21 arrest.

Figueroa is facing 16 charges, stemming from his March 21 arrest, including second-degree assault, conduct after an accident, aggravated drunken driving and drug charges.

Salem police prosecutor Jason Grosky asked Circuit Court Judge Robert Stephen to impose the maximum prison sentence for the 2012 case — two years and 50 weeks in prison — during a sentencing hearing in 10th Circuit Court, Salem Division.

Prosecutors say in the 2012 case Figueroa fled from police in his car after they responded to his home for a domestic disturbance.

Figueroa had received a suspended 12-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to charges of reckless conduct, endangering the welfare of a child and disobeying a police officer.

He returned to police radar on March 21 when police were dispatched to find Figueroa’s white Mercedes Benz around 9:46 p.m. Two people reported that the car was all over the road while traveling along Interstate 93, according to court records.

Drivers had followed the vehicle off Exit 1 onto Route 28 and called 911, prosecutors said.

Police say they found Figueroa’s car stopped in the middle of Tiffany Road, near an apartment complex, blocking both lanes of traffic.

He was asleep behind the wheel, but sped off once he was awoken by the officer, prosecutors said. The pursuit ended after Figueroa allegedly hit three Salem police cruisers, hitting two of them head-on. He was removed from his car after he struck the third police car, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors say Figueroa caused $20,000 in damage to the police cruisers and even more for striking several parked cars during the pursuit.

Police also found 100 Alprazolam and Oxycodone pills in Figueroa’s right front pocket and his wallet had $1,404 in cash and two small bags containing more pills, according to prosecutors. Another $4,085 in cash was found in the car trunk with five cell phones, prosecutors said.

His latest charges are pending in Superior Court, and could end up leading to his indictment.

jkimble@newstote.com


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