Police Remember Ruben Almanza

Contributed by Commander John Houston:

On July 27, 1984, Sergeant Ruben Almanza was assigned to the Narcotics Division and responded to assist officers on an armed robbery of the H.E.B. at Kostoryz and Gollihar. The suspects fled in a vehicle and bailed on foot in the residential neighborhood at Harold Street and Carroll Lane.

Sergeant Almanza, working in plain clothes, walked through yards on Harold Street looking for the suspect when he was ambushed and shot through a hole in a fence board by the suspect. Almanza fell to the ground and the suspect climbed over the fence and straddled Almanza, taking his service weapon, and then appeared he was going to shoot him again. At that point, now retired Lieutenant Eric Wramp, peered over the fence and fatally shoot the suspect. Sergeant Almanza was rushed to the hospital where he later passed away from his injuries a few minutes after midnight on July 28th.

Ruben joined the department on August 28, 1975. He worked in patrol and was later assigned to Special Services. Ruben’s police radio call sign was #419 while assigned to narcotics. The number was retired upon his death.

There are a few officers still working today which had the privilege and honor to have worked with Ruben. Sergeant Almanza is survived by his wife, Irma and three daughters, Melissa, Jennifer, and Tina.

In 1984, Ruben’s family and LULAC Council #1 set up the Sergeant Ruben Almanza Scholarship for High School graduates pursuing a Criminal Justice career. The first recipient was our own Senior Officer Albert Leal.