All posts by Senior Officer Gena Pena

HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

This year, Halloween falls on a Sunday.  We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable evening. Here are a few tips that hopefully will make your night a little safer.

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult. Have a designated meeting place in case your group gets separated.

Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and for others to see you.  Wear reflective clothing while walking in dark areas.

If you are driving through a neighborhood, drive slowly and watch for kids. Sometimes they get distracted and might cross the road without looking.

Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.  Look both ways before crossing the street and use crosswalks when possible.

Walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult.  Only visit well-lit houses.  Don’t stop at dark houses.  Never accept rides from strangers.

If you see a house with the lights out and no Halloween decorations, chances are they may not participate in Halloween activities.  Please respect their homes and wishes.

Parents if you see any suspicious activity, please contact the police immediately at 361-886-2600.  If it is an emergency call 911.

Be courteous to others, be aware of your surroundings and make this Halloween fun and safe for everyone.

As for those who would rather plays tricks than receive treats, remember that damaging a person’s property can be considered “Criminal Mischief”.  

NVID PROSTITUTION STING NETS THREE ARRESTS

An anti-prostitution operation conducted by the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Narcotics and Vice Investigations Division Wednesday afternoon resulted in the arrests of eleven women on charges of prostitution. The ages ranged from 19-49 years of age. The women were arrested after they solicited an undercover CCPD Officer for sex acts in exchange for money. The operation targeted individuals that solicit via high traffic, public places.

NVID Detectives were assisted in the operation by Operations Division Officers, as well as civilians with the Red Cord Initiative. The Red Cord Initiative is a prostitution diversion program aimed to provide practical and emotional support for those involved in prostitution. The program is successful due to the collaboration between the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation, social service organizations, the Nueces County District Attorney Office, and the Corpus Christi Police Department. The program affords those involved with sex work an opportunity to address the myriad of behavioral, social, and psychological problems they have faced throughout their lifetime. Since 2013, Red Cord has provided case management, health services, job training, substance abuse treatment, clothing, housing, counseling, and other social services needed to address the circumstances related to their involvement in prostitution. Participants who successfully complete the program have their cases dismissed by the District Attorney’s Office.

None of the women during Saturday’s operation agreed to participate with the program. Since its inception in 2013, 413 men and women have been arrested for prostitution during these operations, 168 have qualified for the program, and 35 have graduated from the program. The Red Cord initiative receives no government funding and is supported entirely through donations. To learn more, volunteer or donate, citizens can visit the Coastal Bend Wellness foundation at http://www.cbwellness.org.

Although often inaccurately referred to as a “victimless” crime, prostitution is inextricably linked to multiple other crimes including assault, human trafficking, sexual abuse, drug abuse, and the spread of sexually transmitted infectious disease. Neighborhoods where prostitution is prevalent experience a drastic degradation of the quality of life that citizens expect and deserve. The Corpus Christi Police Department will continue to collaborate with all government and private entities to combat prostitution and help accomplish our mission of working with the community to reduce crime, reduce the fear of crime and enhance public safety.

BREAST CANCER AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH

October is not only breast cancer awareness month, but also the month designated to bring attention to Domestic Violence.  Our Officers and Civilian Staff will represent the colors pink and purple throughout the month of October, in an effort to help raise awareness.  

For the month of October, the department has authorized both sworn and non-sworn employees to wear something pink on their uniform or clothing as a unified demonstration of support for those battling different forms of cancer.  This will include allowing staff to highlight a small portion of their hair in the color pink. 

Domestic violence takes place in our nation every minute of every day, occurring just about every 15 seconds.  Most people do not realize just how real domestic violence is and how many lives are affected by it as most of these cases remain behind closed doors. Domestic Violence Awareness Month was introduced, to not only educate and raise awareness, but to bring the support and strength that domestic violence victims need.

Members of the Corpus Christi Police Department will be seen wearing purple attire throughout the month to symbolically bring awareness to Domestic Violence.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please speak up. Our Family Violence Unit can be reached at (361) 886-2670.

POLICE DEPARTMENT’S RESPONSE TO LOCAL SCHOOL THREATS


Over the past weekend, the Corpus Christi Police Department was notified by a concerned citizen of a social media post that appeared to make threats of violence toward the students and staff at two local schools. Investigators with the Criminal Investigation Division and Organized Crime Unit immediately launched an investigation to determine the validity of these threats as well as to identify the suspect or suspects involved.

Operations Division officers met with the administrations at both schools along with the CCISD police department to coordinate a law enforcement response and Uniformed presence at both campuses.

CCPD Detectives, working closely with their federal partners with the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations, have gathered information that leads them to believe that these suspicious social media posts originated from outside the United States. Investigators are continuing the investigation to determine the identity of the foreign poster, as well to determine whether he or she has any local ties to the community.

If you have any information about these threats, you are urged to contact investigators at 361-886-2840. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (361)888-TIPS (8477) or submit the information online at https://www.p3tips.com/TipForm.aspx?ID=343&C=&T=.  The information you provide to Crime Stoppers is anonymous and if the information leads to an arrest, it could earn you a cash reward.

TWO WANTED FUGITIVES ARRESTED

Terry Stafford and Mercedes Martinez have been arrested. 

Investigators were able to track down a location for the wanted subjects in North-Central Texas and worked with partnering agencies to effect the arrests.  The pair will be extradited to Nueces County at a later time. 

The apprehension of these violent offenders was made possible by the diligent work of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, Troy Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, US Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Fugitive Task Force and the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division. 

Updates will be provided as they are made available for release.

We would like to thank our partnering agencies for their assistance in getting these offenders in police custody, without incident. 

If you have any information about this crime, you can contact detectives at 361-886-2840.  If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (361)888-TIPS (8477) or submit the information online at https://www.p3tips.com/TipForm.aspx?ID=343&C=&T=.  The information you provide to Crime Stoppers is anonymous and if the information leads to an arrest, it could earn you a cash reward.

For additional information, see: https://ccpdblotter.com/2021/09/24/warrants-issued-related-to-ayers-murder/

WARRANTS ISSUED RELATED TO AYERS MURDER

Date: Monday, September 20, 2021 4:44 PM
Location: 4100 block of Ayers
Incident: Murder
Case Number: 2109200113

Corpus Christi Police Department is asking for your help to locate 29-year-old Terry Stafford who has an outstanding warrant which was issued on Thursday, September 23, 2021 for murder ($1,000,000 Bond).

Stafford is described as a 29-year-old black male who stands 6′05″, weighs approximately 250 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

This murder warrant relates to an incident which occurred on Monday, September 20, 2021 at approximately 4:44 pm, when officers were dispatched to the 4100 block of Ayers for a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located a 44-year-old male with a gunshot wound. The male was transported to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Investigators are also asking for your help to locate 22-year-old Mercedes Martinez who has an outstanding warrant for failure to report felony ($10,000 Bond) and an additional warrant for hindering apprehension ($25,000 Bond). Martinez also has an active warrant for Failure to Appear for an Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon (No Bond).


Martinez is described as a 22-year-old female who stands 5’00”, weighs approximately 115 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

The pair may be in an older model white in color Chevrolet Suburban.

The persons of interest that we requested assistance for earlier this week have been identified. The vehicle that was used during the commission of this homicide has also been located and impounded.

If you have any information about this murder, or if you know the whereabouts of these persons of interest or the offender, please call Corpus Christi Police Robbery & Homicide Detectives at (361) 886-2840. Anyone who would like to keep their identity secret and still provide information to Detectives should call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS (8477) or submit the tip online at https://www.p3tips.com/TipForm.aspx?ID=343&C=&T=.

NVID PROSTITUTION STING NETS SIX ARRESTS

An anti-prostitution sting conducted by the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Narcotics and Vice Investigations Division Tuesday resulted in the arrest of six men on charges of prostitution, a State Jail Felony punishable by up to 2 years in jail and fines up to $10,000. The men were arrested after they solicited an undercover CCPD Officer, posing as a prostitute, for sex acts in exchange for money. The operation targeted several neighborhoods frequented by prostitutes.

NVID Detectives were assisted in the operation by Uniform Division Officers, as well as civilians with the Red Cord Program.  The Red Cord Program is a prostitution diversion program aimed to provide practical and emotional support for those involved in prostitution. The program is successful due to the collaboration between Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation, social service organizations, Nueces County District Attorney Office, and Corpus Christi Police Department. The program affords those involved with sex work an opportunity to address the myriad of behavioral, social, and psychological problems they have faced throughout their lifetime. Since 2013, Red Cord has provided case management, health services, job training, substance abuse treatment, clothing, housing, counseling, and other social services needed to address the circumstances related to their involvement in prostitution. Participants who successfully complete the program have their cases dismissed by the District Attorney’s Office.

The men arrested during Tuesday’s operation will be required to attend a mandatory prostitution diversion education program at their expense. This program educates men about the negative consequences of prostitution, circumstances that may lead someone to purchase sex, and the impact they have on the individual they attempt to solicit sex from in exchange for money. The fees raised from this program are then used to provide some of the resources mentioned above, to assist women seeking to escape the bondage of prostitution.

Although often inaccurately referred to as a “victimless” crime, prostitution is inextricably linked to multiple other crimes including assault, human trafficking, sexual abuse, drug abuse, and the spread of sexually transmitted infectious disease. Neighborhoods where prostitution is prevalent experience a drastic degradation of the quality of life that citizens expect and deserve. The Corpus Christi Police Department will continue to collaborate with all government and private entities to combat prostitution and help accomplish our mission of working with the community to reduce crime, reduce the fear of crime and enhance public safety.

PERSONS OF INTEREST IN CITY’S LATEST HOMICIDE

Update: 09/23/21 – The vehicle used during the commission of the homicide has been located and impounded.

Date: Monday, September 20, 2021 4:44 PM 
Location:  4100 block of Ayers 
Incident: Murder 
Case Number: 2109200113

Investigators are attempting to identify persons of interest in the City’s latest homicide.

At 4:44 pm on Monday, September 20, 2021, Officers were dispatched to the  4100 block of Ayers for a shooting.  Upon arrival, officers located a 44-year-old male with a gunshot wound.  The male was transported to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. 

The females in the attached photo are being called persons of interest, Investigators need to identify and locate them.  Investigators also need to identify a third person that was in the suspect vehicle.  The suspect vehicle, shown in the attached photo, is described as an older model, black in color Chevrolet Suburban, with paper tags.  

Persons of Interest
Suspect Vehicle

If you have any information about this murder, or if you know the whereabouts of these persons of interest or the offender, please call Corpus Christi Police Robbery & Homicide Detectives at (361) 886-2840. Anyone who would like to keep their identity secret and still provide information to Detectives should call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS (8477) or submit the tip online at https://www.p3tips.com/TipForm.aspx?ID=343&C=&T=.

CITY’S LATEST HOMICIDE


Date: Thursday, September 16, 2021 2:04 am
Offense: Homicide
Location: 2500 block of Viola
Case Number; 2109160011

At approximately 2:04 am on Thursday, September 16, 2021 officers were dispatched to the 2500 block of Viola to a nature unknown. 

Upon arrival, officers located a 54-year-old female deceased outside of the residence.  During the investigation, it was determined that the female has signs of assaultive trauma.

Investigators began working the case and were able to identify a suspect.  Investigators were able to track down a location for the suspect in South Central Texas and worked with a partnering agency to effect an arrest.  The male will be extradited to Nueces County at a later time, at which point his identity will be released.   

We can confirm that this was not a random act of violence and there are no outstanding suspects.  

Updates will be provided as they are made available for release.

If you have any information about this crime, you can contact detectives at 361-886-2840.  If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (361)888-TIPS (8477) or submit the information online at https://www.p3tips.com/TipForm.aspx?ID=343&C=&T=.  The information you provide to Crime Stoppers is anonymous and if the information leads to an arrest, it could earn you a cash reward.

HELP US IDENTIFY SUSPECT IN DEADLY CONDUCT

Date: September 14, 2021 4:58 A.M.
Location:  200 block of Oleander Dr
Offense: Disorderly Conduct
Case Number: 2109140017

At approximately 4:58 A.M. on September 14, 2021, Officers were dispatched to the 200 block of Oleander reference shots heard.  Upon arrival, officer made contact with the resident who advised that he initially heard several gunshots being discharged from a distance and then proceeded to hear the gunshots being discharged closer to his home.  The reporting party advised that at one point he believed the gunshots were hitting his home, at which point he contacted police.  Officers found that several bullets struck the home and noted that two of those bullets penetrated the residence.  There were no injuries reported by the residents.

The victims were able to provide investigators with surveillance footage.

The suspect vehicle appears to be a black in color 4-door passenger car.  The Corpus Christi Police Department is asking for our community’s help in identifying the suspect vehicle and or the occupants. 

If you have any information about this crime or know the identity of this suspect, you can contact detectives at 361-886-2840. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (361)888-TIPS (8477) or submit the information online at https://www.p3tips.com/TipForm.aspx?ID=343&C=&T=.  The information you provide to Crime Stoppers is anonymous and if the information leads to an arrest, it could earn you a cash reward.