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Man found guilty in road-rage event.

Byline: Anna L. Griffin

LEOMINSTER - A Fitchburg man was found guilty yesterday in Leominster District Court on charges related to a road-rage incident in March.

Joshua Cruz, 20, of 86 Farmer Ave., Fitchburg, was found guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct, vandalizing property, and two counts of threatening to commit a crime.

Judge John J. Curran Jr. sentenced him to six months in the House of Correction, suspended for one year. In addition, Mr. Cruz has to attend an anger management program, remain drug and alcohol free, and have no contact with the victim. He was ordered to pay $791 in restitution to the victim.

Mr. Cruz was arrested March 12 in the parking lot at the Mall at Whitney Field, near the JC Penney entrance. Police had received a telephone call from a man who alleged that Mr. Cruz was chasing him with a tire iron.

According to court documents, Officer John C. Monahan said when he arrived at the mall, Mr. Cruz ran up to him and said, "Here I am. I don't have nothing, I am right here. I have nothing in my hands." Officer Monahan said the man had an odor of alcohol about him and he appeared to be intoxicated.

When police found the alleged victim, he told them that he was stopped at a stop sign in his pickup truck when a car pulled up behind him. The man said Mr. Cruz got out of the car, walked up to the pickup truck, and started banging on the windshield of the truck. Mr. Cruz was yelling, saying he was going to kill the driver of the pickup truck.

Although the driver of the pickup truck tried to get away, Mr. Cruz continued to follow him. At one point, the driver of the pickup truck stopped his vehicle, and Mr. Cruz allegedly got out of the car again, this time with a tire iron, and once again threatened the driver of the truck.

Police identified the driver of the car as Mr. Cruz's girlfriend. In speaking to her, she told police the pickup truck nearly hit her car and caused Mr. Cruz to become agitated. She also told police that Mr. Cruz has anger management issues and he had been drinking. She was not charged in the incident.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jun 6, 2008
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