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MSP Fugitive Unit, partner agencies apprehend three including domestic violence suspect who threatened to kill victim



Troopers from the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, along with partner officers from Springfield Police, a US Marshals Service Task Force, and the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, on Wednesday located and arrested a man wanted in Chicopee for domestic violence offenses, including recent threats to kill the female victim. The suspect, Efrain Gonzalez, 21, was believed to be in possession of a firearm and had shown indications of becoming more violent, according to information developed by Chicopee and Springfield Police. MSP VFAS began working with those department’s to locate the suspect.

According to Dave Procopio of the Massachusetts State Police, early on the morning of November 23, a day after fugitive Gonzalez fled when a vehicle he was riding in rammed an unmarked cruiser and tried to run over an MSP VFAS Trooper who was on foot, the investigative team developed information that Gonzalez was in Springfield. After Troopers and Officers checked several locations without finding him, Trooper Keller Williams of the VFAS West Team observed Gonzalez walking at the corner of Quincy and Hancock Streets. Trooper Williams and other Troopers and Officers converged on Gonzalez and placed him under arrest without incident. In the suspect’s jacket pocket they located a .22 caliber Iver-Johnson revolver with eight .22 caliber rounds. Gonzalez was booked at the Springfield Police Department.

The prior day, November 22, Troopers and Officers were searching for Gonzalez when they observed a vehicle fitting the description of a Nissan Altima believed to be connected to the suspect. The vehicle, occupied by three people, was parked on Tyler Street in Springfield. Troopers and Officers approached and confirmed that Gonzalez was the front seat passenger. Upon observing police, the driver, later identified as 20-year-old Clebis Lebron, suddenly put the car in reverse and accelerated into the front end of an unmarked MSP cruiser. The suspects then drove forward and onto the sidewalk, toward an MSP VFAS Sergeant who was on foot. The Sergeant placed his hands on the hood of the car and pushed himself out of the way to avoid being run over. The suspects drove along the sidewalk between shrubbery, side-swiped a box truck, re-entered the road and sped away down Tyler Street. Troopers and Officers located the vehicle crashed into two additional vehicles at the intersection of Tyler and Oak Streets. Lebron and the other passenger, 32-year-old Shonnell Vargas, were later located and arrested, but Gonzalez was not found at that time. Further investigation revealed the suspect’s car had been reported stolen; a box containing 55 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition was found in the vehicle. One of the motorists whose car was struck by the suspects was transported to Baystate Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The investigation into Gonzalez’s whereabouts continued and early the next morning the team developed the information that he was back in the Quincy Street area of Springfield, leading to his eventual capture.

Gonzalez, who has ties to the Chicopee area but no known permanent address, was charged on three warrants out of Chicopee District Court for the offenses of intimidation of a witness and trespassing; violation of an abuse prevention order and attempting to commit a crime; and violation of an abuse prevention order. He was also charged with new offenses stemming from the day of his arrest: unlawful possession of a firearm; unlawful carrying of a loaded firearm; and – because he contacted the victim yet again during the booking process – with another count of violation of an abuse prevention order.

The driver of the car who struck the cruiser and drove at the VFAS sergeant, Lebron, was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of ammunition, receiving a stolen motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and other motor vehicle violations.

The other passenger, Vargas, was charged with unlawful possession of ammunition and receiving a stolen motor vehicle.

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