LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM)– A man went on a crime spree that began with an armed robbery and ended when he tried to steal a police car in Lebanon County, according to county officials.
During the spree, Cesar Romero Colon, 32, of Lebanon, managed to carjack someone at gunpoint, then lead officers on a chase that ended in him crashing Tuesday, the Lebanon County District Attorney said in a news release.
“Cesar Colon risked the lives of multiple people within Lebanon County,” District Attorney Pier Hess Graf said in a statement. “He committed crime after crime with a stolen handgun; he valued no life besides his own. We remain thankful today that every officer involved survived this incident and we continue to pray for the recovery of the victim injured during Colon’s car crash.”
It all started when city police responded to an armed robbery where the DA’s office Cesar Romero Colon, 32, of Lebanon, fired a gunshot into the air before fleeing on a bicycle. The DA’s office says he then stole a vehicle at gunpoint in the city and led officers on a chase going the wrong way, down Route 422.
During the chase, Colon crashed near the intersection of Narrows Drive and Route 422 in South Lebanon Township. A person involved in the crash sustained serious injuries and needed to be freed from the wreckage but is expected to survive.
Colon then tried to carjack another person on Route 422 after the crash when police arrived and gave Colon commands to surrender. Instead, he moved closer to the police cruiser while displaying a firearm.
Police were able to fend off Colon from stealing the cruiser with the help of a South Lebanon Township officer who shot at him but missed, after getting to the scene. Colon then gave up and was taken into custody.
“This spree of violent and senseless behavior shows lessons to us all: our police must remain vigilant of the graver risks their job poses every day and with every incident; our citizens can rest assured their officers and their District Attorney takes crimes committed with guns and criminal activity seriously; and our criminals have a direct example of the dire consequences they face when brought to justice in Lebanon County,” DA Graf said.
The 9mm handgun that Colon had on him was discovered to be stolen and was loaded, according to Graf.
Colon faces felony charges of robbery, receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm prohibited, theft, fleeing or attempting to elude officers, aggravated assault by vehicle, and aggravated assault.
Colon is currently locked up in Lebanon County Prison with bail set at $1 million. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 16.
“We are not Philadelphia or Chicago– if you attack our residents, if you attack our police, we will prevail,” Graf said.