June 1, 2018-According to a probable cause affidavit filed today, an off-duty Gary Police Officer lost control of his weapon and it was retrieved by a Growler’s patron who then shot him and Officer David Aguilera. Gary Police Officer Dwayne Brown was a patron at Growler’s on Highway on May 19 according to the sworn document filed in court today. Brown and East Chicago Officer David Aquilera attempted to intervene after a dispute arose between Growler’s bouncer Martin Rodriguez and patron O’Neill Cruz-Burgos according to the Affidavit. Cruz-Burgos had left the bar to make a phone call and when he returned Rodriquez refused to let him in according to the affidavit. Officer Dwayne Brown stated that he saw Cruz-Burgos and his cousin Joshua Ortiz “refusing to leave the premises after being told to do so by bouncers.” The confrontation went to the parking lot according to the statement where numerous staff and patrons followed.
Brown also stated that he “observed Ortiz making gestures as if he had a weapon on his person.” Brown says he heard Ortiz state he had a weapon and Ortiz then went “into a vehicle to retrieve something.” The report continues “Brown, fearing that Ortiz had a weapon, or was retrieving a weapon from the vehicle, retrieved his own weapon. Brown then struck Ortiz in head with said weapon in an effort to subdue Ortiz.”
Brown’s weapon fell to the ground and both Brown, Ortiz and Cruz-Burgos “jumped for the weapon.” “Ortiz and Brown fell to the ground and were wrestling each other” the report continues. Cruz-Burgos then retrieved the weapon and fired “several shots” at Officer Brown according to the report. The reports states that “Once shots were fired, Officer David Aguilera then returned fire at Cruz-Burgos. In exchange, Cruz-Burgos fired numerous shots at David Aquilera striking him in the head” the sworn statement says.
O’Neill Cruz-Burgos has been charged with two counts of battery by means of a deadly weapon, a leval 5 felony, two counts of battery with serious bodily injury, a level 5 felony and one count of criminal recklessness, a level 6 felony.
Cruz-Burgos’ cousin, Chris Ortiz, was also charged in the incident. According to a probable cause affidavit, Ortiz and bouncer Breanne Misner each struck each other with a closed fist. Both are charged with misdemeanor battery. Bouncer Martin Rodriguez was also charged with misdemeanor battery. Police allege that Rodriquez “struck Cruz-Burgos about the head and face repeatedly.” The affidavit notes that Cruz-Burgos sustained bruising cuts and scratches to his head and face as a result of the battery by Martinez.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We have included the Probable Cause Affidavits for all 4 charges below. These Affidavits are generated by police. In most criminal cases, the Defendant’s side is not told. In this case, Chris Ortiz spoke extensively to WGN Ch. 9 in Chicago. We would urge you to read that account at: http://wgntv.com/2018/05/21/no-charges-in-indiana-bar-shooting-that-injured-2-off-duty-cops/