Salem man who hit cruisers, injured officers held on $1.5 million bail
By JAMES A. KIMBLE Union Leader Correspondent
SALEM — A local man accused of plowing his car into three police cruisers and injuring two officers on Friday night was on probation for fleeing from Salem police following a domestic disturbance in June 2012, prosecutors said.
Judge Robert Stephen set bail at $1.5 million cash for Luis Figueroa, 30, at his arraignment on Monday. Figueroa is accused of setting off a police pursuit and hitting two police cruisers head-on with his 2010 Mercedes E350 so hard that it left one officer with a concussion and the other with a neck injury, according to court records.
Figueroa, of 7 Tiffany Road, is facing 16 charges, including second-degree assault, conduct after an accident, aggravated drunken driving and drug charges.
Jason Grosky, Salem police prosecutor, asked for the seven-figure cash bail, noting that Figueroa was able to post $125,000 cash following his 2012 arrest in a pursuit-related case.
“He has posted significant bail in the past,” Grosky said.
Salem police were called to a complaint about a Mercedes “all over the road” along Rockingham Park Boulevard at 9:46 p.m. on Friday. Another driver complained to police that he was cut off three times by a white Mercedes, police said.
An officer found Figueroa passed out behind the wheel minutes later, but Figueroa speeded off once he awoke, police said.
Police said backup units then arrived to assist Officer Michael McCarthy, whose car was struck when Figueroa backed into him on Tiffany Road. The 30-year-old then struck three parked cars along the road and proceeded to injure Officers Brian Lawrence and Eric Pappalardo when he rammed into their cruisers, police said.
Figueroa was taken into custody after a brief struggle, police said.
Figueroa’s arrest on Friday night bore striking similarities to his last confrontation with Salem police two years ago, which resulted in a largely suspended yearlong jail sentence, according to court records.
Figueroa speeded away from a Salem police officer who pulled him over following a reported domestic disturbance on June 2, 2012.
During the initial traffic stop on Main Street, officers found that Figueroa’s girlfriend was bleeding from the head and complaining of an injured ankle, according to a police affidavit.
Figueroa stepped out of the car when asked to, then returned to his driver’s seat a moment later “to retrieve an item.” He then put the car in gear and speeded off, driving through a red light at the Route 28 intersection and eventually escaping on Interstate 93. The officers decided not to pursue the car for the safety of the woman and an infant in the car, police said.
A team of New Hampshire and Massachusetts police officers working with U.S. Marshals thought they had Figueroa apprehended.
“He jumped from a second-floor window and managed to escape and drive off,” Grosky said.
Figueroa will now likely face jail time on the previously suspended sentence.