Lehigh Valley

Allentown police nab reckless dirt bike rider for a second time

He allegedly twice hit an officer in September

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - An Allentown man already accused of hitting a police officer with his dirt bike during a chase is facing more charges after he ditched his dirt bike and ran from police.

Allentown police charged Luis A. Cruz, of West Liberty Street, with disorderly conduct and a host of traffic offenses following his arrest Tuesday evening in the area of Roosevelt Elementary School. District Judge Donna Butler arraigned the 21-year-old later that night, setting bail at $12,000.

The judge also revoked Cruz’s bail in two other active cases.

An officer was on routine patrol in the area of South Second and West Adams streets near the school shortly after 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, when he spotted a man on a dirt bike that appeared to have stalled.

As the officer approached him, the rider – later identified as Cruz – threw the dirt bike into the street and ran onto school property, according to court records. Police said students and teachers were still inside the school at the time. A second man drove away and was not found.

The officer pursued Cruz, who ran into traffic during the chase. He lost sight of Cruz in the 1300 block of South Second Street, but other officers found him hiding in a backyard between a swimming pool and a tree, according to records.

Police said several other officers had seen Cruz riding recklessly through the city before his arrest. Authorities said he had a knife in his pocket, but no license, insurance or registration.

Police charged Cruz with disorderly conduct, loitering and prowling at night and possession of a weapon on school property along with 12 summary traffic offenses.

In September, police charged Cruz in connection to a dirt bike chase that started near the PPL Center. Authorities alleged a group of dirt bike riders were “menacing pedestrians” before a Sept. 20 pre-season hockey game.

The dirt bike carrying Cruz and his passenger hit an Allentown officer, sped away and hit the same officer a second time during the chase.

Cruz posted $35,000 bail on Oct. 1. He was arraigned about a week later on a charge of receiving stolen property. He was released on $10,000 unsecured bail.

The judge on Tuesday revoked bail in both cases. Cruz was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for Dec. 26. He is scheduled for January preliminary hearings in the other cases.

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