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Man charged with throwing fire extinguisher at cop
By Peter Reuell / Daily News Staff
Monday, April 4, 2005

FRAMINGHAM -- A Framingham man "well known" to police was arrested Saturday night after throwing a fire extinguisher at an officer outside St. Tarcisius Church, police said.

Raul Ortiz, 48, whose last known address was at 77 Arlington St., was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after allegedly striking an officer with a fire extinguisher. Additional charges will likely be filed, Framingham Police spokesman Lt. Vincent Alfano said.

The incident began just after 8 p.m. Saturday, when officers responded to a call of a suspicious man outside St. Tarcisius Church, possibly carrying a blowtorch.

Police responding to the report recognized Ortiz and attempted to speak to him, but the man quickly became irrational, police said.

Without warning, Ortiz heaved a fire extinguisher at the two officers, striking Officer James Finn in the chest, then ran off brandishing a knife.

With the help of an Ashland Police dog, the Framingham State College Police 8) and the Framingham Police Auxiliary, officers were able to track Ortiz down nearly an hour later.

After repeatedly ignoring orders by police to surrender, he was subdued by the police dog. He was treated for a minor bite, but not taken to the hospital.

Following his arrest, police searching Ortiz found three knives.

"We're very fortunate that no one was seriously injured, because it had the potential to be a very serious incident," Alfano said.

Though he declined to specify, Alfano said Ortiz has had run-ins with the police in the past.

"Let's just say we've had serious dealings with him in the past," he said. "He's well known to us."

( Peter Reuell can be reached at 508-626-4428, or at [email protected] )

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