WARSAW — At approximately 7:12 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5, Warsaw Police received a report of a threat to life to a man at the Quick Clean Laundry, located at 419 E. Winona Ave. in Warsaw.
All city officers were busy on other calls for service, and a Winona Lake officer was close and responded to the laundromat. A short time later, a Warsaw supervisor field-training a probationary female officer arrived on scene to take the lead in this investigation.
The complainant was able to point out the suspect in this case, who was now seated in the driver’s seat of a gray Ford Focus in front of the main doors of the business. As officers were gathering information, a third Warsaw officer arrived on scene, assisting officers already present.
From outside the vehicle, he observed two boxes of ammunition in an interior door pocket as he looked down at the subject seated in the driver’s seat. As a matter of safety, he asked the subject where his gun was. The subject, later identified as Miguel Enrique Delfin Cruz, hesitated and then said he left it at home.
Officers validated that the threat took place and were in the process of persuading Mr. Cruz to gather his clothing and leave the property, rather than needing to file charges on the subject. He was reluctant to exit his vehicle but finally stepped out.
As he did, the third officer observed a bulge on the right side of his waistband, relaying that to the supervising field training officer and his probationary officer. As those officers stayed outside, they conducted a radio check with dispatch confirming that Cruz did not possess a license to carry a handgun.
Officers walked in with Cruz as he was stretching up to a top dryer to remove his clothes. At that time, the female probationary officer observed a sidearm tucked inside of Cruz’s jeans that he attempted to hide with a phone in his right pocket. The probationary officer took initiative to move in while Cruz was getting his clothes, grabbing his right arm and planning to take him into custody before removing the gun.
At point of contact, the suspect immediately began to violently fight with both police officers. During the struggle, both officers later reported feeling the suspect intently tugging and pulling on their holstered sidearms to disarm law enforcement.
As the physical fight persisted, the suspect was able to take possession of his Ruger LCP 380 loaded firearm, pointing it at the probationary officer’s head and striking her in the head several times.
Simultaneously, the field trainer disengaged from the fight to draw his sidearm, preparing to use lethal force. This caused the suspect to point his loaded firearm at the field trainer who was trying to clear for a shot. Cruz was hiding behind the head of the female officer.
The third Warsaw officer and Winona Lake officer standing outside were alarmed by witnesses of the fight inside the business. As the Warsaw officer ran in, he observed the suspect with his arm around the neck of the female officer. From his vantage point, he did not see the gun on the opposite side of her head, held by the suspect’s right hand.
This officer subsequently tackled Cruz into the dryer machines. This blow knocked Cruz down, but he still held possession of the firearm. The third officer, now realizing Cruz was in possession of the gun, was able to knock the gun out of Cruz’s hand and push it away from them on the ground.
The Winona Lake officer used a taser to aid in getting Cruz into handcuffs, as he was still actively resisting. Once he was in custody, the weapon was secured and found to be loaded, with a round in the chamber.
Both officers sustained scrapes, cuts and bruises to the arms, and the female officer was taken to Kosciusko Community Hospital due to the blows she suffered to the head. She was released soon after.
Cruz was transported to the jail, but not before saying he should have killed the female officer. He later made this same threat to jail staff during the booking process.
Warsaw detectives were able to secure surveillance video from the laundromat and officer’s body-worn cameras of the violent interaction with Cruz.
Additionally, detectives prepared a search warrant for the vehicle driven by the suspect due to the ammunition boxes observed in plain view, as well as a positive alert of the vehicle during an exterior K-9 sniff by Winona Lake’s K-9 officer and partner. The search warrant produced Methamphetamine, Methamphetamine paraphernalia, extended loaded magazine for the suspect’s gun and two other boxes of .380 ammunition.
Miguel Enrique Delfin Cruz, 25, of Milford, was taken to the Kosciusko County Jail where he is being held on a prosecutor’s hold during this active investigation. He did receive minor bruises and cuts because of his felonious actions. Currently, investigators are reviewing a plethora of charges against Cruz while continuing to actively investigate this incident. The Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office is assisting WPD in reviewing evidence for all those charges.
Warsaw Police were assisted by Winona Lake Police, the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office and Lutheran EMS.
This was the third gun-related call that second shift officers responded to during their tour of duty for August 5.