Wanted man found hiding on resident’s house after chase

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Safford Police officers captured a wanted man who fled from them twice and jumped from a resident’s roof in an attempt to avoid capture. He was later struck with TASERs and booked into jail.

By Jon Johnson


SAFFORD – A man with a burglary warrant was apprehended May 6 after fleeing from officers and hiding on a resident’s roof.  

Olivaz Tomas Cruz, 31, was arrested on a warrant regarding charges of burglary in the third degree, and theft. He was also given new charges of resisting arrest and criminal trespassing and was booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility.

According to a Safford Police report, an officer was on patrol just prior to 11 p.m. when he noticed Cruz on a bicycle in front of the Los Jilbertos restaurant at 215 E. U.S. Highway 70. The officer began questioning Cruz about a vehicular burglary Cruz was allegedly involved in and then learned there was an active warrant for his arrest relating to it. 

When the officer attempted to place Cruz under arrest, however, Cruz ditched his bike and fled on foot. 

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Olivas Tomas Cruz, 31, was booked into jail on his burglary warrant and new charges of resisting arrest and criminal trespass.

The officer lost sight of Cruz but later a white four-door Buick known to be associated with the Cruz family was spotted by another officer. Upon following the vehicle, the car stopped on Court Street and the officer saw Cruz get out of the back seat and flee on foot again. 

While searching for Cruz, a resident advised he heard someone run through his backyard. However, Cruz was not found following a search of the yard. 

The resident then advised that he noticed a ladder leaned up against his house. An officer climbed the ladder and located Cruz hiding behind an air conditioning unit on the roof. 

Upon being spotted, Cruz jumped off the roof and ran from the officer. According to the report, other officers in the area deployed multiple TASERs at Cruz and he was taken into custody a short while later. Two TASER barbs had to be removed from Cruz after he was caught, and he was taken to the hospital to receive medical clearance. After doing so, he was transported to jail and booked on the above-listed charges.      

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