Cristina Cruz, wife of a Gwinnett County minister, was sentenced to five years of confinement after prosecutors said she tore a police officer’s Taser from his hand and pointed it at him.

The incident occurred during an altercation on March 25, 2018. Officers were searching for a teenage girl, Rosa Cardenas, after her mother reported she had run away. Cardenas’ mother and sister reported to have seen her in a tan Escalade belonging to Wilmer Cruz Sr., Cristina Cruz’s husband, in front of the Iglesia Cristiana Evangelica church at 4380 Lawrenceville Highway in Lilburn.

Officers found Cardenas in the back seat of the car with Wilmer Cruz Jr., who refused to leave that car when directed by police.

As Wilmer Cruz Sr. and Cristina Cruz exited the church and confronted to officers, “several other people” also approached the cars, according to a summary of evidence in the case from the district attorney’s office. Cristina Cruz tried to get between one officer and the car, and the officer responded by pulling out his ASP baton and attempted to push several people back.

Wilmer Cruz Sr. and his son Angel Cruz rushed at the officer, who went to strike Cruz senior in the leg with his baton, but stopped when he saw children were nearby. The two men grappled with the officer who escaped and holstered his baton.

The officer took out his taser when he saw Wilmer Cruz Sr. grappling with his partner. He was able to discharge one cartridge from the Taser, but missed when Cristina Cruz took the taser and aimed it at him. The officer pulled his gun on Cristina Cruz and instructed her to drop the taser. She complied and was taken into custody after the scrap between her husband, son and the officers ended.

Four members of the Cruz family, including Cristina, were arrested. Cruz Sr. and Cruz Jr. both pleaded guilty to aggravated assault of an officer in June. Cristina Cruz was convicted of removal of weapon from public official, aggravated assault on a peace officer, attempted removal of weapon from public official and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers.

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