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Police shoot at man who they say stole cruiser

A Boston police cruiser was shown early Saturday in Dorchester at the JFK/UMass T stop, after the incident.

Dan Wasserman/Globe Staff

A Boston police cruiser was shown early Saturday in Dorchester at the JFK/UMass T stop, after the incident.

At least one Boston police officer shot at a South Boston man Saturday after the man allegedly stole a marked police cruiser and struck an officer with the vehicle as he sped away, only to crash shortly afterward near a Red Line station in Dorchester, Boston police said.

The incident began around 3:30 a.m. Saturday when patrol officers were sent to 97 Baxter St. in South Boston to investigate reports that a car had been broken into, police said. Officers spotted a suspect and pursued him on foot, but as they did, the man allegedly jumped into a cruiser and drove away.

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Officer Neva Coakley, a police spokeswoman, said she did not have any information on how the suspect managed to drive off in the cruiser. Coakley said the man, identified by police as Wilfredo Rodriguez, hit a police officer with the cruiser as he tried to drive out of the

Boston Police

Wilfredo Rodriguez.

neighborhood.

At least one officer opened fire, Coakley said.

“Due to the imminent danger, at least one officer discharged multiple rounds from his service firearm,” she said in a statement.

Rodriguez, 37, was not struck by the officer’s gunfire, police said.

The officer whom Rodriguez allegedly drove the cruiser into, and another officer were taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Coakley said she had no information on the cause of the second officer’s injuries.

After the confrontation in South Boston, Rodriguez drove into Dorchester pursued by police and crashed near the MBTA’s JFK/UMass Red Line station, police said. He was arrested after a second foot chase near the crashed cruiser.

“There is extensive damage to the police cruiser,” said Coakley.

Rodriguez is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in South Boston Municipal Court on multiple charges, including assault and battery on a police officer, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and larceny of a motor vehicle.

About two hours later, Boston police were called to the Boston Medical Center after an Emergency Medical Services ambulance was reported stolen.

The ambulance was recovered, unoccupied, later Saturday at 46 Westland Ave., Coakley said.

There are currently no suspects, and the incident remains under investigation.

Alyssa Creamer can be reached at alyssa.creamer@globe.com.
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