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Fugitive Behind Bars In Paterson Off-Duty Police Officer Shooting

Kenyi Cruz
Kenyi Cruz Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy PASSAIC COUNTY SHERIFF

PATERSON, N.J. – A 19-year-old Paterson man wanted on attempted murder charges involving an off-duty police officer shot at in the city last week was behind bars, Passaic County Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik confirmed Thursday.

Kenyi Cruz remained held on $500,000 bail in the Passaic County Jail.

Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes wouldn’t elaborate on what she said was a “use of force” committed by the off-duty Harrison police officer “so as not to jeopardize the safety of persons involved or to jeopardize the investigation in progress.”

In custody with Cruz were Yordy Almonte, 23, and Carmen Ortega, 21, both of Paterson, along with Adonis Almonte, 21, of the Bronx.

Around 10:30 p.m. Friday, Valdes said, the defendants “attempted to cause the death of another by firing a handgun at” the officer.

Their car then “crashed into a home at the corner of Oak and Madison Streets,” she said.

Almonte was arrested at the scene Friday night, the prosecutor said.

Ortega, who took off, was taken into custody on Saturday, she said.

The other Almonte was arrested Sunday.

Cruz was taken into custody on Wednesday.

The officer didn’t sustain any injuries, Valdes said. Almonte, meanwhile, was treated for injuries that she said weren’t life-threatening.

A judge ordered Yordy Almonte held on $500,000 bail, Ortega on $250,000 bail and Adonis Almonte on $150,000 bail, all in the Passaic County Jail.

All four are charged with first-degree attempted murder and various weapons possession counts.

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