Two Springfield men out on bail after allegedly pointing rifles at police
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Two Springfield men are out on bail after allegedly threatening officers with rifles.
According to a news release sent to 22News from the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, the repeat offenders being released on bail jeopardizes public safety and trivializes police officers’ safety due to the court’s inaction.
Two Springfield officers conducted a traffic stop at around 10:13 p.m. on April 7th on the corner of High and School streets. The officers saw 8-10 people standing in front of a nearby building in which two appeared to be holding assault rifles. The two men, later identified as 27-year-old Mario Salcedo and 19-year-old Joseph Cruz-Salcedo, allegedly pointed the rifles at the officers and at the person in the vehicle they pulled over. The officers called for backup after one of the suspects threatened, “Come over here, you are about to get splattered.”
One suspect was arrested after backup arrived, officers tactically advanced toward the individuals with the rifles, with their weapons unholstered, and ordered them to drop the rifles. The second suspect refused to comply with officers and dropped his rifle and ran. He was ultimately arrested after a struggle and officers subdued him.
The rifles were then inspected and determined to be “air rifles” that looked real.
One air rifle was a black M4-style rifle that had many real features consistent with a fully operational assault rifle: safety selector switch, operational dust cover, magazine release button, and optics.
AK-47 style rifle
The second air rifle was an AK-47 style rifle that was painted blue and white and had features as a magazine release, detachable magazine, and an operational safety selector switch. Officers have recently received safety warnings of people that will paint real rifles to hide their realistic features and make them look like toys.
Salcedo and Cruz-Salcedo have been charged with the following:
- Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (3 counts)
- Interfering with a Police Officer
- Disorderly Conduct,
- Threat to Commit a Crime (2 counts)
- Cruz-Salcedo has also been charged with Resisting Arrest
Salcedo and Cruz-Salcedo are currently out on $1,000 bail for each after the DA’s Office requested $50,000 bail on each and filed motions to revoke bail for each defendant. Their court date is scheduled for June 3.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “If the court system endeavors to protect the public and hold persistent and violent offenders accountable, this decision is inexplicable. Both individuals were out on bail for several serious pending cases involving assaults and firearms. Despite my office’s best efforts, their existing bails on these several, serious open cases were not revoked and, moreover, a shockingly low bail was set in light of the brazen threats made towards uniformed police officers.” D.A. Gulluni went on to say, “The court’s decisions tacitly minimize and normalize this behavior. This serves to embolden and empower these dangerous men and others around them. It also sets a standard that puts police officers in harm’s way, as well as members of the public.”
Cruz-Salcedo has two pending cases. Massachusetts State Police attempted to conduct a traffic stop on April 25, 2021. He allegedly refused to stop and attempted to avoid police by using a median on I-91 to change directions from traveling north and to access the southbound lane. A passenger in the car either jumped out or was thrown from the vehicle. While detained in Holyoke and officers seized a loaded firearm, and trafficking weight heroin. He is charged with the following:
- Possession of a firearm
- Carrying a firearm without a license
- Trafficking in heroin
- Drug distribution
- Carrying a loaded firearm
- Possession of ammunition without an FID card.
During this court hearing, he was found dangerous and held without the right to bail, after the expiration of the dangerous holding limit, bail was set at $1,000, which was posted and he was released.
In the second case, he allegedly assaulted a corrections officer and disturbed a correctional institution while in custody.
Salcedo has a pending case involving a domestic disturbance. He is charged with the following:
- Assault and battery on a family/household member
- Assault and Battery with a dangerous weapon
- Destruction of property