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Holland man sentenced for store rampage

By Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Apr 2, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Heriberto Cruz, 30, was sentenced Monday to 300 days in the Ottawa County Jail for going on a rampage inside the Dunham's Sports store in Holland Township in late December 2018.

The Holland man pleaded guilty to several crimes resulting from the malicious destruction of property inside the store, then for leading police on a chase after the incident.

Police said Cruz drove his vehicle at the responding Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office deputies, then did a U-turn and tried to hit the deputies again. The chase happened along northbound and southbound U.S. 31, during which Cruz attempted to hit civilian and police vehicles.

One civilian was struck and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Cruz eventually turned into a church parking lot at 13th Street and Maple Avenue in Holland, where he struck a parked car, then tried to flee. He was boxed in by police and was arrested without further incident.

He pleaded guilty to third-degree fleeing police, reckless driving, malicious destruction of property, two counts of disturbing the peace and failure to stop at the scene of a crash. In return for his pleas, one count of resisting/obstructing arrest was dropped.

Cruz was given credit for 99 days already served in jail and must pay at least $2,181.50 in restitution, along with court and attorney fees totaling more than $1,000.

Cruz asked to be sent to prison with the Michigan Department of Corrections rather than be given a 12-month probation once he was out of the county jail. Judge Karen Miedema denied his request.

"You had a total disregard for the safety of others," Miedema said. "You need to become a law-abiding citizen, and you totally showed no respect for others on this day.”

Cruz, whose attorney said he suffers from mental health issues, apologized for his actions.

“I’d like to apologize to Dunham's for destroying their casings and the gas station and for the chase," Cruz said. "If I offended the police officer for flipping him off, it wasn’t to him, it was just how I felt."

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