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Prison terms for thieves who ran down woman at Lyndhurst hotel

Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, Cliffview Pilot Courthouse Reporter. No re-use without watermark and hotlinks.
Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, Cliffview Pilot Courthouse Reporter. No re-use without watermark and hotlinks.

EXCLUSIVE: Two members of a Queens-based theft ring are both looking at several years in state prison after pleading guilty in connection with a theft in which they ran down a woman after snatching her purse outside a Lyndhurst hotel.

Jesus Ortiz and Hector Ruiz admitted they jumped into a car after grabbing the woman’s bag on May 8, 2011 outside Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.

The woman, a Chinese national here on a visit, stepped in front of the vehicle to block their path. But Ortiz hit her with the car, causing “serious bodily injury,” Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Martin Delaney told Superior Court Judge Patrick Roma yesterday in Hackensack.

A four-month manhunt for Ruiz ended in September. Ortiz remained on the run another month before leading a police chief following another theft.

According to Delaney, Ortiz, 39, “created a risk of death or injury” to the police and other vehicles, so the officers broke off the chase — only to have him crash the car into a detective’s vehicle in Elizabeth a short time later.

Ortiz, who was driving again, pleaded guilty in exchange for an 8-year prison sentence.

Ruiz, 35, got a shorter term for his plea.

The Jackson Heights duo will have to serve at least 85% of their sentences before they are eligible for parole. For Ortiz, that means about six years and 10 months; for Ruiz: Three years, four months.

Ortiz, a Peruvian national who is in the United States illegally — and also goes by the name Edgar Melo — will also be deported.

Roma scheduled sentencing for April 19. Ortiz must remain in the Bergen County Jail, without bail, until then.

Meanwhile, Ruiz was being held on $250,000 bail, records show.

STORY / CLIFFVIEW PILOT PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia


Defendants Jesus Ortiz (l.) and Hector Ruiz with their attorneys. Right: Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Martin Delaney. STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, Cliffview Pilot Courthouse Reporter. No re-use without watermark and hotlinks.

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