This arrest information has been edited and updated on 9/16/2020. The updates reflect the following:
- Upon further investigation it was found that the suspect had provided the arresting Officers with false information about his identity. Pedro J. Velasquez provided a false date of birth and incorrect spelling for his name. When his true identity was confirmed, it was found that his State Issued ID was from Florida. Velasquez has an active warrant for his arrest for Battery (Assault) in Florida but extradition is not authorized from Pennsylvania. Velasquez has no fixed address in Pennsylvania and stated that he is homeless.
- (2) Criminal Complaints were filed against Velasquez in relation to incidents from 9/14/2020 and 9/15/2020
- Velasquez's booking photo has been included.
- For the evening of 9/14/2020 Velasquez is charged with (5) Counts Aggravated Assault (F1), Possessing Instruments of Crime (M1) and Obstructing Administration of Law Enforcement (M2) (No charges for Riot were filed) Velasquez was arraigned on the complaint and bail was set at $25,000.
- For the evening of 9/15/2020 Velasquez is charged with (2) Count Aggravated Assault (F1), Possessing Instruments of Crime (M1), Obstructing Administration of Law Enforcement (M2), Resisting Arrest (M2) and False Identification to Law Enforcement Authorities (M3). Velasquez was arraigned on the complaint and bail was set at $25,000
***ORIGINAL INFORMATION PUBLISHED 9/15/2020***
On September 15, 2020, at approximately 6:26 PM, Detectives from the Lancaster Bureau of Police were working in the police offices at 39 W. Chestnut Street, when a Detective observed a green laser being shined through the windows into their workspace. The high-intensity laser passed by the head and face of the Detective, who brought it to the attention of other police personnel. They visually located the subject with the laser and identified him as an individual who was standing near the flag pole, in front of the Lancaster County Building at 150 N. Queen Street. The Detective notified other officers via police radio and provided a description and location of the male suspect, who continued to shine the laser into the windows of the Lancaster City Police Station. Detectives continued to observe the individual and when patrol officers arrived, they approached the suspect and attempted to take him into custody. The suspect resisted arrest and had to be restrained by several police officers, in order to be handcuffed. While officers were attempting to handcuff the suspect, a small group of individuals began to circle around the officers and the suspect being arrested. The officers at the scene called for additional assistance for the crowd that was forming around them. One unknown male individual was yelling at the officers and repeatedly attempted to interfere in the arrest, refusing to step back and away from the officers attempting to handcuff the suspect. After ignoring repeated orders to get back, an officer pushed this subject away from the arrest that was taking place, allowing officers to gain control of the suspect and get him handcuffed. The suspect was then escorted to a police vehicle and transported to the Lancaster City Police Station. No other individuals were arrested, and officers left the scene once the arrested person was safely inside the police vehicle.
The suspect was brought to the police station and identified himself as Pedro Junior VELAZQUEZ, a 26 year-old male, who reported that he is currently homeless after coming here from Florida. Upon further investigation, Detectives were able to determine that VELAZQUEZ was the same individual they were attempting to identify for similar conduct during the anti-police protests on Monday night September 14, 2020. VELAZQUEZ was observed several times on the evening of September 14th, shining a green high-intensity laser at officers who were working and providing security at the police station. VELAZQUEZ attempted to shine the laser at the officers who were at the police station and his conduct served no legitimate purpose.
As a result of this investigation, investigators charged Pedro VELAZQUEZ with six counts of Aggravated Assault, two counts of Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Functions, one count of Riot, one count of Resisting Arrest and two counts of Possessing Instruments of Crime. The charges are being filed before Magisterial District Judge Bruce Roth. VELAZQUEZ is being held for processing and arraignment (no arrest photo is available at the time of this release).
It should be noted that the Detectives believed the high-intensity laser was similar to the type used against law enforcement during protests in other cities. Lasers have potentially dangerous affects on the eyes and are believed to have the potential to cause vision damage, including blindness.
All arrested persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.