Oaklyn Police say the officer was injured while attempting to arrest the suspect, who fled the scene in a truck reportedly stolen from a borough resident.
By Matt Skoufalos | August 8, 2022
A Camden couple has been charged in connection with a stolen vehicle case that originated in Oaklyn and left one borough police officer with minor injuries during an arrest attempt.
According to a release provided by Oaklyn Sgt. Colby Bryszewski, the trouble started just before 1 a.m. July 25, when an Oaklyn police officer stopped a Honda Civic in the area of West Lakeview Avenue and the White Horse Pike.
The Civic, which was allegedly being driven by 22-year-old Esperanza Ortiz of Camden City, had been reported stolen out of Pennsylvania, police said.
Ortiz was charged with one third-degree count of receiving stolen property and one third-degree count of possession of a controlled, dangerous substance for suspected possession of crack cocaine that was allegedly discovered during the traffic stop. She was issued summonses and released.
However, during the vehicle stop, 35-year-old Samuel Lopez of Camden allegedly confronted the officer in a Ford Ranger, “and began to drive recklessly,” before fleeing the scene, according to Bryszewski’s report.
Detectives later learned that Lopez was in a romantic relationship with Ortiz, and that the truck he was driving had been reported stolen from a residence in Oaklyn.
Around 10:45 the next day, an Oaklyn police officer spotted Lopez in the truck in Camden City. When that officer attempted to arrest him, Lopez allegedly accelerated at the officer, hitting him and his patrol vehicle before reportedly speeding off.
Bryszewski reported that the officer reportedly sustained minor injuries, and that the vehicle was “moderately damaged.”
Oaklyn Police located the stolen truck unoccupied in Camden City on August 1, and recovered it.
Lopez was captured the next day in Camden City by the U.S. Marshals Service Regional Fugitive Task Force.
Lopez faces charges of second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, second-degree eluding, third-degree receiving stolen property, third-degree burglary, third-degree theft by unlawful taking, and fourth-degree unlawful taking of means of conveyance.
He is currently being housed in the Camden County Jail pending a hearing.
All persons charged with a crime are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. An arrest is not a conviction.
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