HRLR
Los Tocayos Carlos
Chapter 2
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Text: A | A | A
All Chapter 2 Footnotes

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Figure 4: Map of the area where the manhunt took place. The Sigmor Shamrock station is Point A1 on the left.

As police converged on the area, officers and residents radioed and called in information from the warren of dark narrow streets, shabby wood-frame houses, interlocking yards, and alleyways. Mixed up with Mejia’s BOLOs on the tape was a jumble of clipped and urgent reports coming from many directions, including some from places so far outside the neighborhood that, in retrospect, they were beyond the reach of a man fleeing the Sigmor on foot.184

Among the din of one-off calls were three intense bursts of radio traffic, each concentrated in time and place. The first flurry of sightings by officers came from the two blocks of Dodd Street that run north from the Sigmor station in the direction Kevan Baker saw the assailant headed (Points A1, 2, and 3 on Figure 4). The calls peaked where Dodd intersects the more heavily trafficked McArdle Road (Point 3).185

The second set of sightings rolled east along McArdle for fourteen blocks, past a city park with ball fields, a middle school, and a nursing home (Points 3 to 6 and 7).186 The sightings became especially intense around the intersection of McArdle and Kostoryz Road, where there was a Domino’s Pizza on one side of McArdle and a Circle K convenience store on the other side (Points 6 and 7).187

The third burst of calls came from way back west towards the Sigmor, in the bungalows and yards behind the Phase III Club and Lebowitz Furniture where the Arsuagas had seen a man jogging past (Points B to E).

At DeLuna’s trial, Dispatcher Escochea called the first burst of activity along Dodd Street “a hectic situation as far as radio traffic was concerned.”188 “Units were just throwing out [radio] traffic”189 as officers closely pursued a man running north from the Sigmor.

The first officers to join the hunt were two unnamed patrolmen in Car 155.190 Then Officer Thomas Mylett, the Corpus police officer Escochea had initially tried to dispatch to the Sigmor, arrived at the scene.191 He was followed by Constables Ruben Rivera and Carolyn Vargas, as well as Corpus Christi police officer Mark Schauer. They all had been told to go where eyewitness Kevan Baker had pointed when the first officer reached the Sigmor—in “the immediate area in back of the store,” “the area north of the station down Dodd Street.”192

Constable Rivera remembered pulling into the driveway of the gas station just behind the ambulance.193 “Someone came forward and pointed in the direction of Dodd Street and hollered ‘he ran that way.’”194 Rivera and his partner turned right onto Dodd, stopped the car at the next block (Point 2) and started off on foot to search for the suspect where the witness had indicated.195

Soon, Escochea received reports from several units of a person seen running in the same Dodd Street area (Points 2 to 3).196 At 8:16 p.m., less than six minutes after Wanda screamed and three minutes after the first BOLO, an officer in Car 155 radioed that a civilian witness “just saw the suspect in the 4900 block of Dodd.”197 That’s the block of Dodd Street that ends at McArdle (Point 3), as you travel from the south. Escochea called all units there,198 reporting that the “suspect [was] last seen by a witness running through the yards.”199 Within minutes, twenty patrol cars converged on the intersection.200

See, e.g., Police Dispatch Tape, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983) at 8:23:33 (tape at 14:52), 8:24:04 (tape at 15:23), 8:25:46 (tape at 17:05) (“Ok. We have a [?] over blue, very dark blue Mercury L.T.D. or Marquis, 2 Hispanic males, they’re eastbound on McArdle. They should be just getting to Kostoryz now. The same people were [?] up by Circle K at Kostoryz and McArdle before.”; “Ok, we’ve got dark Mercury, it’s eastbound on McArdle, just approaching Kostoryz, occupied by two Hispanic males.”; “Ok, 103 is going 48 on this vehicle. [?] 137’s at Cosner and McArdle, Exo Victor Lincoln 110. (THIS LOCATION IS TWO BLOCKS NORTH AND 16 BLOCKS EAST OF THE SHAMROCK STATION.) [MAYORGA. 103 IS CAPTAIN (PROBABLY GLORFIELD); “GOING 48” = TRAFFIC STOP; PATROL UNIT 137 PROVIDES BACK-UP FOR 103.]”).

See Ruben Rivera, Nueces County Deputy Constable, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) at 97–98:

No, sir. There was two or three different areas. We came down in—down Dodd, if I remember correctly, we went directly over to McArdle, made a circle and went all the way to McArdle. I think there was a report that the subject had been seen in this nursing area next to the ballpark over here and we took part in that little search there, and then we heard another broadcast that he had been observed over here and we just went back over here and went back up one of these streets and wound up in this area (indicating) [near Kostoryz Road], and then that’s when the call came over or the broadcast came over that the suspect had been seen under a truck [a few blocks away from the Sigmor].

See Corpus Christi City Directory 234 (1983) (identifying 3115 McArdle Road as the location of the South Park Manor Nursing Home);

Ruben Rivera, Nueces County Deputy Constable, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) at 98 (“[T]his is a Little League park of some kind, and then I believe there’s a school and then a nursing home way up [McArdle] towards Kostoryz.”).

Police Dispatch Tape, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983) at 8:23:53 (tape at 00:15:12);

see infra notes 216–239 and accompanying text.

Jesse Escochea, Corpus Christi Police Dispatcher, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) at 34 (“Q. You said that they said that the person was running to the rear of the store. Who are you getting that information from? A. Several units in the field. There was—it was kind of a hectic situation as far as radio traffic was concerned, as you can recall on the tape. Units were just throwing out [radio] traffic.”).

Jesse Escochea, Corpus Christi Police Dispatcher, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) at 34.

Police Dispatch Tape, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983) at 8:10:51 (tape at 00:2:10), 8:11:49–8:11:53 (tape at 00:2:08–00:2:12), 8:16:24 (tape at 00:07:33) (“55. We’re making 17. [17 = Shooting]”); identifying Car 155 as back-up to Officer Fowler, evidently because it was the next car at the scene; “155 advised the witness just saw the suspect in the 4900 block of Dodd”).

Thomas Mylett, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Supplementary Report (Feb. 6, 1983) at 1 (“While on Patrol, I was assigned to investigate an armed robbery at the Shamrock Station on South Padre Island Drive. While enroute, I heard at least two units transmit that they arrived at the scene. An officer at the scene broadcast information that the suspect had shot [sic] the clerk at the Shamrock station and then ran north, on foot, behind the Shamrock station. I arrived at the scene and immediately combed the area north of the [gas] station . . . [for] 20 minutes.”).

The reference to two other units—probably Fowler and Mejia—suggests that Mylett arrived at or after 8:14.

Mark Schauer, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) at 112–14 (testifying that when he arrived at the scene, he was told by commanders “to go to the back of the store and start patrolling the area looking for a suspect”; “the immediate area in back of the store”; “down Dodd Street”);

see Thomas Mylett, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Supplementary Report (Feb. 6, 1983) at 1 (“I arrived at the scene and immediately combed the area north of the [gas] station . . . [for] 20 minutes.”);

Ruben Rivera, Nueces County Deputy Constable, Supplementary Report (Feb. 7, 1983) at 1 (“On 2–4–83 at approximately 8:10 pm, we monitored an Armed Robbery in Progress at the Shamrock Gas Station, 2602 SPID . . . . We went directly to the neighborhood area behind the Gas Station . . . since the suspect had reportedly fled to that area.”);

Mark Schauer, Corpus Christi Police Officer, Supplementary Report (Feb. 8, 1983) at 1 (when he arrived in his patrol car, he was “sent to rear of store . . . to look for suspect. Went down Dodd from the station”);

Ruben Rivera, Nueces County Deputy Constable, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) at 82–83, 93–95 (he and partner arrived shortly after first broadcast and based on reports that the suspect ran “immediately behind the station,” he commenced his search “down Dodd” Street);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Ruben Rivera, Nueces County Deputy Constable, in Robstown, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 2:04:31–2:06:43:

And when we heard the call we were right in front of the place mentioned, but we were on the freeway. There was no way for us to get off the freeway. So we continued on down the freeway and made the interchange to the crosstown freeway and went to the next exit, which was Galahar. We went, we got off on Galahar and made the turnaround and came right back . . . on crosstown [freeway] and we hit S.P.I.D. again and went left and the next exit was Kostoryz. We got off on Kostoryz and I knew that the Diamond Shamrock was on the other side of the freeway. And we made the turnaround and came back to the Diamond Shamrock and there was a few people out there on the driveway. And we met the ambulance on the way to the Shamrock station, and I moved out of the way so the ambulance could go first. And the ambulance went and stopped at the driveway at the Shamrock, and there was a person laying there at the driveway. And we made a brief, just a brief stop, and someone hollered “he ran that way” and pointed towards the neighborhood. So we continued going down the neighborhood, down— I believe it’s Dodd Street that comes in out of the neighborhood. And we drove and we stopped the car at the next block and we got off on foot because there was a search for a suspect that had apparently robbed the Shamrock station at knife-point.

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Ruben Rivera, Nueces County Deputy Constable, in Robstown, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 2:10:02–2:10:18 (“Q. They pointed which direction on Dodd? A. North. North, because Dodd dies right there at the freeway. It runs perpendicular from the freeway.”);

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Carolyn Vargas Vasquez, Deputy Constable (Nov. 23, 2004) at 1 (describing route she and Ruben Rivera took after getting radio call about the incident at the Sigmor-Shamrock: “came down to DS [Diamond Shamrock] then drive up Dodd”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Ruben Rivera, Nueces County Deputy Constable, in Robstown, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 2:04:31–2:06:43 (“[W]e met the ambulance on the way to the Shamrock station, and I moved out of the way so the ambulance could go first. And the ambulance went and stopped at the driveway at the Shamrock, and there was a person laying there at the driveway.”).

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Ruben Rivera, Nueces County Deputy Constable, in Robstown, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 2:04:31–2:06:43, 2:09:18–2:09:30 (“[W]e made a brief, just a brief stop, and someone hollered ‘he ran that way’ and pointed towards the neighborhood.”; “One of the persons that was there . . . came forward and he pointed in the direction of Dodd street and he hollered, ‘He ran that way.’”).

Ruben Rivera, Nueces County Deputy Constable, Supplementary Report (Feb. 7, 1983) at 1 (“We went directly to the neighborhood area behind the gas station . . . since the suspect had reportedly fled to that area.”);

Transcribed Videotape Interview with Ruben Rivera, Nueces County Deputy Constable, in Robstown, Texas (Dec. 7, 2004) at 2:04:31–2:06:43 (“So we continued going down the neighborhood, down . . . . I believe it’s Dodd Street that comes in out of the neighborhood. And we drove and we stopped the car at the next block and we got off on foot because there was a search for a suspect that had apparently robbed the Shamrock station at knife-point.”);

Bruce Whitman’s Notes on Interview with Carolyn Vargas Vasquez, Deputy Constable (Nov. 23, 2004) at 1 (describing route she and Ruben Rivera took after getting radio call about the incident at the Sigmor-Shamrock: “came down to DS [Diamond Shamrock] then drive up Dodd”).

Jesse Escochea, Corpus Christi Police Dispatcher, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) at 34 (“Q. You said that they said the person was running to the rear of the store. Who are you getting that information from? A. Several units in the field. . . . I would really have to listen to the tape to be able to identify the voices that were telling me what was going on.”).

Police Dispatch Tape, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983) at 8:16:03 (tape at 00:07:22), 8:16:14–8:16:30 (tape at 00:07:33–00:07:49) (reporting “at 4900 Dodd that the subject just ran by”; “155 advised the witness just saw the suspect in the 4900 block of Dodd . . . . Dodd and McArdle . . . . Who’s at Dodd and McArdle . . . . Dodd and McArdle”).

Car 155 first radioed in the witness’s report at 8:15:56. See Police Dispatch Tape, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983) at 8:15:56 (tape at 00:07:15). But, it took the dispatcher a few seconds, until 8:16:03 (tape at 00:07:22), to understand what the officers had said. Police Dispatch Tape, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983) at 8:16:03 (tape at 00:7:22) (“at 4900 Dodd that the subject just ran by”). Units were repeatedly called to Dodd and McArdle between 8:16:14 and 8:16:30. See Police Dispatch Tape, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983) at 8:16:14–8:16:30 (tape at 00:7:33–00:7:49) (“155 advised the witness just saw the suspect in the 4900 block of Dodd . . . . Dodd and McArdle . . . . Who’s at Dodd and McArdle . . . . Dodd and McArdle”).

Police Dispatch Tape, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983) at 8:22:32 (tape at 00:13:51) (“This is broadcast of armed robbery 27, just occurred 2602 South Padre, the Shamrock. Hispanic male, 5–9, wearing a flannel shirt and gray sweatshirt. Suspect last seen heading northbound on foot to the rear of the Shamrock. May possibly be wearing a white, long-sleeved T-shirt. That’s may possibly be. Said he was last seen by a witness in the 4900 block of Dodd, running through the yards.”).

Police Dispatch Tape, Corpus Christi Police Dep’t (Feb. 4, 1983) at 8:10:46–8:23:31 (tape at 00:01:49–00:14:48) (noting the following patrol units were in the vicinity of Dodd and McArdle, in order of arrival there: 143, 140 (Mylett), 279 (Ruben Rivera and Carolyn Vargas), 153 (on foot), 149, 126 (on foot), 155 (on foot), 151 (on foot), 131, 121 (on foot), 152 (Schauer), 135, 157, 120, 119, 115, 113, 141, 403 (vice), 443 (vice));

see Jesse Escochea, Corpus Christi Police Dispatcher, Trial Test., Texas v. DeLuna, No. 83-CR–194-A (Nueces Cty., 28th Dist. Tex. July 15, 1983) at 33 (“I had about 15 to 20 units in the area looking for the subject . . . every available unit within the city limits at that location.”).

Chapter 2
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