Man Arrested After Attempted Murder of Police Officer

Richard LuminelloRichard Luminello (Submitted Image)

WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office and the Caln Township Police Department jointly announced the arrest of Richard Luminello, 56, of Philadelphia, for attempted murder, aggravated assault, theft, fleeing and eluding, and related charges. The defendant was arraigned by Magisterial Judge Scott Massey and is remanded to Chester County Prison.

“The defendant had no regard for human life as he intentionally crashed into a police vehicle at a dangerous high rate of speed. It is miraculous that the officer was not injured, but had he been inside the patrol car he would not have been so lucky,” Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan. “The defendant later acted as if he had a gun as he pointed at police telling them he would shoot. In this climate, where lawlessness jeopardizes the safety of the men and women in law enforcement, we must continue to support these brave individuals who risk their lives every day.”

The allegations in the complaint are the following:

On February 19, 2023, at approximately 5:27 p.m., the Downingtown Police Department responded to a report of a stolen vehicle that was taken from the parking lot at the Colonial Apartments, 701 West Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown Borough. The vehicle information was entered into NCIC.

On February 22, 2023, at approximately 1:22 a.m., Downingtown Police Department responded to Wawa, 1083 East Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown Borough, for another stolen vehicle report. The vehicle’s owner stated that he parked in the Wawa parking lot, turned the vehicle off, and left the keys on the console before going inside. When he returned a few minutes later, his vehicle was stolen. Surveillance footage showed a white male stealing the vehicle after he had driven to the Wawa parking lot in the vehicle stolen on February 19, 2023. Downingtown Police then gave flash information of the vehicle and the suspect’s description through the Chester County police radio.

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At approximately 1:54 a.m. on February 22, 2023, two Caln Township police officers in full uniform with one in a marked patrol car and the other equipped with lights and sirens, were at the Wawa located in the 3700 Block of East Lincoln Highway, Caln Township, and observed the stolen vehicle on Lincoln Highway around Marshalton-Thorndale Road. The officers followed the vehicle.

One officer activated her emergency vehicle lights and siren, attempting to initiate a traffic stop. The driver, later identified as defendant Luminello, failed to stop and fled through a residential neighborhood. One officer pursued the defendant in a police vehicle while the other stopped to set up stop sticks near Shelbourne and Westerham Roads.

At 1:55 a.m., as the officer was outside of the vehicle with its emergency lights activated, he attempted to retrieve the stop sticks, to end the pursuit. Upon approaching Westerham Road, the defendant struck the officer’s vehicle head-on at a high rate of speed, causing the officer to dive out of the way to avoid being struck. The force of the impact sent the police vehicle onto a side yard approximately 40 yards away and resulted in major damage to the police vehicle.

After striking the officer’s vehicle, the defendant’s vehicle stopped nearby. The defendant exited the vehicle and began walking away from the officers. Officers gave numerous verbal commands to show his hands, stop, and get on the ground but the defendant did not comply. As officers approached, the defendant brought his right hand up, and pointed at the officers in a motion consistent with drawing a firearm. He stated, “I’ll shoot you.”

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An officer fired four rounds from a department-issued firearm at the defendant, striking him once in the leg. He fell to the ground while officers continued to issue verbal commands, but the defendant continued to move and gesture his hands as if he were pointing a gun. The defendant cursed at the police and stated that he was searching for his gun.

The defendant then shoved the officer with his right hand and reached in his front waistband. He pointed at the officer in a manner consistent with someone drawing a firearm. The officer deployed his taser which struck the defendant causing him to fall to the ground.

Additional police officers and EMS responded and administered aid to the defendant. He was transported to Paoli Memorial Hospital where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the right leg and a fractured elbow.

Police found car keys for the car stolen on February 19, 2023, inside the stolen car the defendant was driving.

Caln Township Police Department and the Chester County Detectives are investigating this case. It is assigned to First Assistant Michael Barry.

If you have any information about this case, please contact Chester County Detectives at 610-344-6866.

Information, a criminal complaint, or an arrest is not a declaration of guilt. A suspect, arrestee, or defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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