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ODMP Remembers...

Officer Juan Nieblas Cruz | Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona

Officer

Juan Nieblas Cruz

Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona

End of Watch: Wednesday, December 9, 1998

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 48

Tour: 17 years

Badge # 3111

Cause: Vehicular assault

Incident Date: 12/9/1998

Weapon: Automobile; Alcohol involved

Suspect: Sentenced to 11 years

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Officer Cruz was killed when his patrol car was rear-ended while he was investigating another accident on I-10. Officer Cruz was sitting in his patrol car, which was parked in the left lane with emergency lights activated, when the accident occurred. The patrol car burst into flames and, as another officer attempted to free him, a small explosion occurred.

The vehicle that struck him had driven through a line of flares and didn't slow down before the impact. The driver of that vehicle, who turned 21 the day before the accident, was taken to a local hospital and a homicide investigation was started. The suspect had a BAC of .168. The suspect pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Officer Cruz had been with the department for 17 years and is survived by five children and fiancee. He was planning on being remarried on December 24th.

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Most Recent Reflection

Hi Daddy,
It is once again National Police Memorial Week. Fifteen years ago this week, your name was added to the wall of our nations finest & bravest police officers. I have not had the opportunity to see your name on the National wall but I have seen your name on the DPS wall in Phoenix and your memorial stone placed at your home DPS office here in Tucson. Seeing your name carved into the stone of each Police memorial landmark makes your death so much more real. You see, even after fifteen years, I still pick up my phone to call you with any news about our daily lives and whenever I have a question that I normally, and naturally, would ask you. When my kids ask a question I don't have an answer to, I catch myself telling them they should ask you because you would know. You will always be a part of our lives through stories, pictures, and because you are part of the core of our existence. Rest peacefully, Dad, and save us a place in heaven.
Sleep with little angels...

I miss you, daddy...I love you forever!!
Marissa

Marissa Cruz
Daughter
May 14, 2014

 

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