2018-10-11 / Front Page

Man wanted for pulling gun on local officer is arrested

The suspect who allegedly brandished a handgun at a Jamestown police officer during a high-speed pursuit along Route 138 is in custody, according to Police Chief Ed Mello.

Bill Rodriguez, 19, of Hartford, Conn., was arrested in Connecticut on a warrant issued by Jamestown police. Once he’s extradited, he will be charged with eluding police with a stolen motor vehicle. Rodriguez also will be charged in North Kingstown for assault with a deadly weapon. The Rhode Island attorney general’s office, which will prosecute these felonies, has authorized the extradition.

Rodriguez’s arrest stems from a rash of automobile break-ins just before dusk Sept. 25. The suspects allegedly rendezvoused with three stolen vehicles on Beacon Avenue and then fled on Route 138 toward North Kingstown. Near the on-ramp for Route 1, Rodriguez’s stolen vehicle hit a curb and blew out a tire, police said. He then ditched his stolen vehicle, pointed a firearm toward Sgt. Jason Hopkins, and escaped in his accomplice’s car, police said.

This is the third arrest stemming from two crime sprees overnight between Sept. 16-17 and again between Sept. 24-25. During these incidents, an alleged ring of automobile thieves from Connecticut broke into 53 cars, stealing seven vehicles. All of them have been recovered, Mello said.

Jose Rodriguez, 18, of Vernon, Conn., was arrested by East Hartford police following his alleged involvement with the Sept. 25 thefts. He was charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, eluding police and obstruction of justice. He also will be extradited to Rhode Island to face those charges.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested Sept. 20 after allegedly crashing a 2011 Mercedes stolen from Jamestown three days earlier. The suspect, from Waterbury, Conn., will not be extradited because he is a minor, Mello said. According to police, LoJack was used to trace that SUV stolen to Waterbury, which is about 2 hours west of Conanicut Island. The vehicle was totaled in the ensuing crash.

Since Sept. 25, Mello said, there has been no unusual activity in town related to automobile crimes.

— Tim Riel

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