Enid man faces 6 felony charges

Lance Michael Cruz

ENID, Okla. — A 27-year-old Enid man arrested last week was arraigned Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, on six felony and three misdemeanor crimes.

Lance Michael Cruz has been charged with felony counts of third-degree burglary, attempted third-degree burglary, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm after former felony conviction. Cruz also was charged with misdemeanor counts of obstructing an officer, assault upon a police officer and reckless conduct with a firearm.

Cruz's bond was set at $25,000 and he was ordered to return to Feb. 10 for a bond appearance.

Because Cruz has prior felony convictions for bogus check, second-degree burglary, grand larceny, assault and battery upon a police officer and false personation, he faces four years to life on his first four felonies; six years to life on the charge of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony; and three years to life on the charge of possession of a firearm after former felony conviction.

At 11:53 p.m. Jan. 2, Enid Police Department Sgt. Zeke Frazee and Officer Tyler Evans responded to Highpoint Trailer Park, 2700 N. Van Buren, on a report of shots being fired, according to an affidavit filed in the case. A caller told police they heard one gunshot to the south of their trailer.

Frazee and Evans arrived at the trailer park and found a car that appeared to have been burglarized, according to the affidavit. Frazee also saw a truck parked next to the car with a bullet hole in the driver's side window. Frazee walked to the passenger side of the truck and saw an entry hole in the back passenger-side window. Officer Robert Elliott found a Blazer brand 9 mm casing near the truck.

Officer Steven Curts spoke with the owner of the vehicle and asked her if she kept a gun in her car and she said she did, according to the affidavit. Frazee told her it looked like someone entered her car, took the gun and shot her truck.

Frazee and Evans searched the area for other vehicles that were burglarized. While searching, Frazee heard a car alarm going off to the east, possibly in the Ashley Lane RV Park, according to the affidavit. Frazee and Evans went to the area and stopped by a man who said he saw another man wearing a backpack running south.

Frazee and Evans stayed in the area and searched for the man for about an hour, according to the affidavit. Frazee and Evans heard dogs barking in the 3200 block of North Lincoln, near Crosslin Park.

Turning off their lights, Frazee and Evans began patrolling the area until they saw a man in driveway of a residence in the 3500 block of North Lincoln holding a flashlight and looking through a vehicle, according to the affidavit. The man was on the passenger side of the vehicle and had not seen the officers.

"In my experience of dealing with car burglars they typically try to flee on foot and are sometimes armed," Frazee wrote in the affidavit. "We already knew that a gun had been stolen an hour ago and had already been fired."

Frazee and Evans pulled into the yard, the man turned and looked at them, according to the affidavit. Frazee wrote he could see the man was holding a gun in his right hand.

Frazee yelled to Evans that the man had a gun and got out of the car with his weapon drawn, according to the affidavit. Frazee told the man to drop the gun and the man dropped it and began running alongside the house to the east. Frazee yelled for the man to stop but he continued running.

While running, the man threw a knife to the ground and continued running through the backyard, jumping over the fence, according to the affidavit. Frazee continued to chase the man, yelling, "Police. Stop." Frazee jumped the fence and followed the man into Crosslin Park, which was unlit and dark, with his weapon drawn and the weapon-mounted light on.

He continued chasing the man, and the man turned around and pointed something at Frazee with his right hand, according to the affidavit. "Fearing that he had another firearm and was going to shoot at me or Officer Evans I stopped briefly and fired one round at him," Frazee wrote.

The man fell but got back up and continued running into another backyard, according to the affidavit. Frazee told the man he was going to shoot him and to stop running and get on the ground. The man said he did not have a weapon and went to the ground in the backyard of a residence in the 3400 block of North Lincoln.

Frazee held the man at gunpoint and called out his location. Evans arrived and placed the man into handcuffs, according to the affidavit. Frazee asked the man if he had been struck and the man said he was not hit. The man said he never had any other weapons on him and he had never been caught with a gun.

The man was identified as Cruz, and it was confirmed he had warrants through Garfield County for burglary, according to the affidavit.

Elliott spoke with the owner of two vehicles at the first residence on Lincoln. One of the vehicle's door was open and the other vehicle's contents appeared gone through and spread throughout the vehicle, according to the affidavit. There were cameras pointed in the area of the vehicles and footage showed Cruz gaining entry into one of them.

Frazee walked the area where he chased Cruz and found a large-faced watch and two pocket knives in the backyard of the residence, according to the affidavit. The gun left in the front of the residence was identified by the owner as the one stolen from the vehicle at Highpoint Trailer Park. The gun was loaded with 12 rounds of Blazer 9 mm.

When Cruz was searched, a coin purse was found in his pocket, according to the affidavit. The victims on North Lincoln confirmed it belonged to them and was taken from one of their vehicles.

Detective Tanner Austin interviewed Cruz at the police station. Cruz initially said he never had a gun, according to the affidavit. Cruz was asked about firing a gun that night and was told he was going to have a gunshot residue test performed.

Austin left the room, which is audio and video recorded, and Cruz began trying to wipe his hands off, according to the affidavit. Later, Cruz admitted he stole a gun from a car at Highpoint and said he fired the gun and struck the truck's windows. Cruz said it was an accident and happened as he was getting out of the car.

Cruz told police he was scared and began running home, according to the affidavit. Cruz said he did have the gun when Frazee first made contact with him and he threw it to the ground when Frazee told him to drop it.

Cruz said while being chased he pointed a phone at Frazee to make the sergeant stop chasing him, according to the affidavit.

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Rains is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @cassrains.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Cass? Send an email to crains@enidnews.com.

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