A Lilburn police officer responded to a call from a woman who filed a missing person report, at a church last month, and he had no idea that he would be practically be fighting for his life.
“I was slammed against the glass door, hitting my head very hard against the glass,” Sgt. Ryan Long said in at a preliminary hearing for the Cruz family on Tuesday. “Mr. (Wilmer) Cruz was choking me to the point I couldn’t breathe.”
Authorities said they received a call regarding a missing girl to Iglesia Cristiana Evangelica Church in the 4800 block of Lawrenceville Highway. They responded and went to rescue the minor, who was found inside a tan Cadillac Escalade, but things escalated.
Sgt. Ryan Long testified he put his Taser in Wilmer Cruz’s back, but Cristina Cruz grabbed it from his hand and pointed it at the officer.
“I grabbed Mrs. Cruz by the arm and told her she was under arrest for grabbing my Taser,” Long said. “She refused and would only say: ‘Jesus love(s) me.’”
After Cristina Cruz was eventually arrested, Wilmer Cruz and Wilmer Cruz Jr. were seen in the video slamming and pinning Long against a door, the officer testified. One of the sons was also seen on video taking the officer’s radio.
Long testified he believes the family fought back because they thought: “Officers were not allowed to fight back against them.” The family also threatened to kill his mom, Long said.
At the center of the fight was the young missing 16-year-old girl, who has since been returned to her mother, is believed to be pregnant by the Cruz’s 17-year-old son. Robles called officers to the church regarding her daughter.
Just a week prior to the brawl, the girl’s mother, Ana Cardenas Robles, filed for an order against Cristina Cruz on March 19, alleging the minister’s wife had been stalking her and threatening her with deportation, and had been refusing her contact with her 16-year-old daughter.
An attorney for the Cruz family claimed in court that Robles had congratulated Wilmer Cruz Jr. on the pregnancy and she gave permission for her daughter to stay with the family.
The family was denied bond in court.