Philadelphia

Philadelphia Police ID Suspect in Caught-on Camera Rooftop Pursuit

Luis Rivera-Ortiz is accused of leading police on a car & foot pursuit.

A man who allegedly almost ran over two officers before being cornered on a North Philadelphia roof Wednesday has been identified as wanted for escaping police custody in March.

Luis Rivera-Ortiz, described as a "menace to society," could be seen being pummelled by three police officers on a Feltonville warehouse roof in video from NBC10's SkyForce10 helicopter. He had three warrants out for his arrest, related to car thefts, burglaries and aggravated assault.

After he was tackled, punched and kneed in the head, he could be seen stumbling as he was walked in handcuffs by two police officers. A few moments later, he collapsed while apparently talking with another officer. Eventually, police took Rivera-Ortiz to Episcopal Hospital for treatment.

Police were conducting surveillance on Rivera-Ortiz at 9th Street and Lehigh Avenue in the Kensington section of Philadelphia Wednesday night when, investigators said, he ran into a van, backed into an unmarked police car and nearly ran over two officers before speeding off.

Officers then gave chase. At one point the suspect was driving the wrong way down Roosevelt Boulevard at a high rate of speed and police called off the pursuit due to the danger, investigators said.

The man finally stopped his vehicle about three miles away on the Boulevard near Rising Sun Avenue in Feltonville, police said.

He then got out of the vehicle and continued to flee on foot, police said. SkyForce10 captured the man scaling a fence and then climbing onto the rooftop of a building on the 5300 block of North 5th Street. 

The man then tried to jump off the roof but was pulled back on by one of the officers and tackled to the ground. Five more officers in total eventually joined in to restrain him, placing him in handcuffs.

SkyForce10 / Philadelphia Police Department
Police charged Luis Rivera-Ortiz with aggravated assault and related offenses after they say he led them on a rooftop pursuit on May 9. See Larger

Rivera-Ortiz, 25, is accused of aggravated assault and related counts. It is unclear if he has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small described the man as a "menace to society."

"He could've hurt someone. He could've killed someone," Small said. "He could've killed police. But no one was injured and an arrest was made."

Police also recovered the van, which they believe the suspect stole. 

Contact Us