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Man who injured officers when ramming police cars pleads guilty to assault

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:14 a.m. HST, Jun 4, 2011


A man who police said injured two officers when he rammed two police cars with a stolen SUV at a KFC Waikele Restaurant's drive-through window in 2009 pleaded guilty to assault and other charges Friday in state court.

Jeremiah Lopez, III, 24, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault, two counts of assault against a law enforcement officer, terroristic threatening, criminal property damage, driving a stolen vehicle, drug and drug paraphernalia possession.

Police shot Lopez twice in the chest and once in his right arm during the Nov. 3, 2009 confrontation.

In return for Lopez's guilty pleas the prosecutor promised to recommend a prison term of no more than 10 years when a state judge sentences Lopez in September. The prosecutor also agreed to dismiss a first-degree robbery and other assault and threatening charges. The robbery charge carries a mandatory penalty of 20 years in prison.

One of Lopez's passengers in the SUV, 26-year-old Cherish Craig, pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor assault.

The state previously dropped an unlawful entry into a motor vehicle charge against another passenger.

Lopez had a similar confrontation in April 2004 when he struck a police car with a stolen motorcycle. He pleaded no contest to related charges in February 2005. A state judge granted him a deferral of his pleas and the charges were to be dismissed in May last year if he stayed out of trouble until then. However, the judge granted Lopez's request to dismiss the charges in April 2008.

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