Rivera tried to flee on foot, stash backpack with loaded handgun near children
📸 Southbridge Police Department photo
SOUTHBRIDGE — A 19-year-old man with an active warrant was arrested after fleeing from police when law enforcement followed up on anonymous tips stemming from a Facebook Live video.
According to a press release issued by the Southbridge Police Department, Eliezer Rivera, Jr., had streamed a live video displaying three handguns on the popular social media platform, prompting several anonymous individuals to alert the local police through its tip411 app. Police said the tips were received around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 28.
Following up on the tips, police were able to identify the live video’s creator as Rivera, “who is well known to Detectives & Officers through previous dealings,” police reported. Police added officers were aware of an active warrant for Rivera’s arrest.
After a short investigation, police reportedly observed Rivera walking on Hamilton Street and enter a multi-family residence at approximately 2:47 p.m. Police said Rivera exited the building a short time later and officers attempted to place him under arrest for the outstanding arrest warrant. Rivera fled on foot, resulting in “a brief foot pursuit.” During the chase, police reportedly observed Rivera take off his backpack and allegedly attempt to conceal it under a parked motor vehicle. Police immediately recovered the backpack, noting “there were numerous children in the area,” before apprehending and taking Rivera into custody.
Rivera was placed under arrest for the outstanding warrant and transported to police headquarters to be processed. During an inventory of the contents of Rivera’s backpack, police affirmed a loaded Ruger .380 handgun, along with several live rounds of ammunition were recovered. Rivera does not have an active license to carry (LTC) a firearm or ammunition, police said.
As a result of the investigation, Rivera was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm without a license, with improper storage of a firearm near a minor and for the active arrest warrant. He was held without bail at police headquarters pending his arraignment in Dudley District Court on Wednesday.