Category Archives: Criminal Investigations Division

Update on In-Custody Death

On Sunday February 12th at about 2:14 AM, the Corpus Christi Police Department and the Corpus Christi Fire Department were called to a home in the 1700 block of Morales to assist a man who was reportedly having difficulty breathing. The responding public safety personnel discovered a 48-year-old man displaying obvious signs of medical distress.  Sr. Officer Mike Wertanen and Officer Brandon Cordell assisted the medics by restraining the man and placing him in handcuffs.  This allowed the medics to provide emergency medical treatment.  Medics subsequently transported the man by ambulance to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. 

Today, March 15, 2012, the Nueces County Medical Examiner ruled the death as a homicide.  Although a homicide means that the nature of the death was not natural, it does not indicate the death was caused by any wrongdoing.

The Corpus Christi Police Department Criminal Investigation Division will continue with the investigation into the matter.  Once the investigation is complete, the case will be presented to the grand jury.  This is the standard procedure in all in-custody deaths.

As is also standard procedure, an internal administrative review that was started immediately following the event will continue.  This review will determine if the policies and procedures of the Corpus Christi Police Department were followed.

The Officers involved will remain on restricted duty pending the outcome of the investigation and the ruling by the Grand Jury.

Information released on February 15, 2012 by the Corpus Christi Police Department

Corpus Christi Police Department Homicide Detectives are continuing their investigation into the death of a 48 year-old man who died following a struggle with police officers and medics early Sunday morning at a home in the 1700 block of Morales Street. On Sunday February 12th at about 2:14 AM, the Corpus Christi Police Department and the Corpus Christi Fire Department were called to the home to assist a man who was reportedly having difficulty breathing. The responding public safety personnel discovered a 48-year-old man displaying obvious signs of medical distress. Before he could be treated, the man began struggling with the medics. Officers assisted the medics by restraining the man and placing him in handcuffs. Officers did not deploy their Tasers nor utilize pepper spray to subdue the man. After being handcuffed, the man suddenly quit breathing. Officers immediately removed the handcuffs so the medics could begin CPR. Medics then rushed the man by ambulance to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Homicide Detectives are continuing to interview witnesses to the incident, including family members and the emergency personnel who responded to the scene. The Nueces County Medical Examiner’s Office has completed an autopsy on the man, but the final report has not yet been released pending the results of certain tests. Two of the responding Officers have been placed on Administrative Leave, which is standard Police Department procedure in all such instances. They are Senior Officer Mike Wertanen, a 22 year veteran of the Police Department, and Officer Brandon Cordell, who has four years with CCPD. The Officers will remain on leave pending the outcome of a thorough investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division. Once the investigation is completed it will be submitted to the District Attorneys Office and presented to the Grand Jury, which is standard procedure in all in-custody deaths.

 Note: Click here to see the original information released by the Corpus Christi Police Department http://wp.me/p1D8kP-11H

Morning Homicide on Omaha Drive

Occurred March 15, 2012 8:00am  700 Omaha Dr.  Aggravated Assault    1203150025

Corpus Christi Police were called to the 700 block of Omaha Drive at 8:00am Thursday morning in reference to a shooting.

Police Officers found a man who had an injury consistent with a gunshot wound. The man believed to be an age of early twenties was immediately taken by ambulance to the Spohn Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Police closed off the street to traffic to search for clues about this event. Police are searching for an older model white vehicle that may be related to this event.

The victim of this crime expired at the hospital as a result of the injuries. Homicide detectives are investigating leads and request any information from the public in relation to this crime.

Anyone with any information about this event is encouraged to notify police or call crime stoppers at 888-TIPS or log on to http://www.888TIPS.com.

Please Help Us Find Missing Person Julia Ruiz

The Corpus Christi Police Department Homicide/Robbery Bureau is asking the public’s assistance in locating 59-year-old Julia Ruiz who was reported missing on March 13, 2012.  Ruiz’ ex-husband told Officers he last saw her on Sunday, March 11 when he stopped by to visit.  CCPD Case number: 1203130095

He told Officers he went to pick up dinner and when he returned she was gone.  Julia Ruiz suffers from a medical condition and is on prescribed medication which was left behind. 

Julia  is a five feet tall Hispanic female who weighs 170 lbs.  She has short brown wavy hair and pierced ears.  Julia was last seen wearing a purple nightgown. 

Anyone having any information regarding this Missing Person is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS or Corpus Christi Police Department Homicide/Robbery Detective R.L. Garcia at 361-886-2850.

‘Lay Away’ Thief Runs Out of the Store Wearing Stolen Goods

Occurred on 2/2/12, 3:58 p.m.  Theft   4365 S. Port Avenue   1202020092

Corpus Christi Police Department Property Crimes Detectives are asking the public’s assistance in identifying a Hispanic male who was involved in the theft of a gold necklace valued at $2,000.

Cash America Pawn employees reported a Hispanic male selected a gold necklace and was allowed to try it on.  The suspect asked about placing the necklace on lay away, but fled taking the necklace with him. 

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 5’8″ feet tall, and weighing 160 lbs.  He was last seen wearing a blue and white striped shirt, dark pants, and white shoes.

Anyone having any information regarding this crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS or the Corpus Christi Police Department Property Crimes Unit.

Theft From Taqueria Jalisco

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2.13.2012   Theft   2433 Cimarron Blvd.   1202130076

Corpus Christi Property Crimes Investigators are asking for help to identify a man who stole money from the Taqueria Jalisco Restaurant on Cimarron on Monday, February 13, 2012.

The cashier for the restaurant was provided an envelope with cash which was placed by the register near the front door to the business. The cashier turned away momentarily and the envelope disappeared. The video camera surveillance system was reviewed and the person that stole the envelope was seen on the video recording. The man who took the envelope is described as a white male with dark hair and wore a black jacket. The man took the envelope that contained the money, concealed the envelope inside his jacket, then he left the business.

Anyone that can identify this person or has any information about this crime are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS or log on to www.888TIPS.com. The information you provide could earn you a cash reward.

Sunglass Hut Shoplifter

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Occurred February 13, 2012      5400 S. Padre Island Dr.      Shoplifting          1202140038

Corpus Christi Property Crimes Investigators need your help to identify the woman who stole over $1,200 worth of sunglasses from the Sunglass Hut store in the La Palmera Mall.

The woman is described as a Hispanic female with long straight black hair and wore a tan shirt with blue jean pants. The woman had a gold shoulder bag and carried three shopping bags in her hand. The woman stole several pairs of sunglasses and her image was captured on the video camera recording system inside the store. Store employees have asked for help to identify this woman so that criminal charges may be pursued.

If you can identify this woman or if you have any information regarding this theft we encourage you to call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS or log on at www.888TIPS.com, the information you provide could earn you a cash reward.

 

 

Theft Supect

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Occurred Feb. 5th, 2012     Theft     3829 Hwy 77     1202050058

Investigators with the Property Crimes Unit need your help identifying the individual seen in this video.  He is believed to have stolen a wallet.

On Saturday February 4, 2012 shortly after 3:00pm, an elderly customer left his wallet on the counter and walked off after he paid for his items.

He did not realize his wallet was missing until later that evening.  He called Wal-Mart and asked security personal if someone had turned in the wallet.

Security personal took the extra step and checked their security video in order to locate the customers wallet.  The Wal-Mart security personnel discovered that the wallet was picked up by another individual, who left with the wallet.

The individual is described as a white male in his early twenties, clean-shaven, with a shaved head. At the time of the theft he was wearing a black jacket with Georgia across the chest and faded jeans. 

The car in the video is the car the man left the store in.  Although the licence plate is visible, the Police Department have been unable to identify all the numbers and letters.

If you can identify this man, we encourage you to call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS, or log on at www.888tips.com.  The information you provide could earn you a cash reward.

Drug Selling Graffiti Vandal Arrested in Late Evening Raid

Narcotics officers executed a search warrant at 4114 Carlton as part of an initiative to target suspected graffiti offenders selling narcotics in the city.

The search warrant resulted in the seizure of three handguns, one of which is stolen out of this city along with an assault rifle.  Officers also seized 1.83 lbs. of Marijuana which was packaged for sale in addition to 4.76 grams of Cocaine and 7.30 grams of Methamphetamine.

Also seized were numerous graffiti instruments, graffiti documents and other graffiti paraphernalia.

Richard Trevino (08/05/89) a known graffiti vandal was arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana and Possession of a Controlled Substance. The inside of this address was covered with the same graffiti that has plagued the 78415 area.

Graffiti Task Force Detective Steve Smith also responded to the residence and assisted in the investigation as part of our new multi-divisional partnership to address the graffiti problem.

Possible charges for graffiti and possession of a stolen weapon may follow after further investigation.

Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Fugitive Task Force Unites Local Agencies in Pursuit of Wanted Criminals

Since January 1, 2012, the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Fugitive Task Force, comprised of the United States Marshals, the Nueces County Sheriff’s Dept., Texas Department of Corrections, and the Corpus Christi Police Department, have arrested over 50 wanted subjects in the Coastal Bend Community. Of the 50 plus arrests, over 30 have been for violent offenders here in Corpus Christi TX.   The following are a few of these very notable arrests. 

Donna Susan Taylor (09/16/69) was arrested for the murder of her boyfriend in the early morning hours of Feb. 4, 2012 by the US Marshalls Fugitive Task Force in College Station, Texas.  After a thorough investigation, CCPD Homicide Detectives were able to gather evidence and obtain a Murder warrant.  Her bond was set at $200,000. (Offense report #1201160057) 

Townsel Myers (06/26/57) was initially arrested for the assault of an acquaintance at a local bar on Christmas Day in 2011.  Due to the severity of the injury, the charge was upgraded to an Aggravated Assault and a new warrant issued.  On January 12, 2012, Myers was tracked to a Corpus Christi address and arrested by the task force.  He was also found to be wanted on a Parole Violation War myersrant for Murder. (Offense report #1112250005 and #1201120031)  

Shahnawaz Umer (07/20/86) was arrested for shooting a 37-year-old male in the hand and identifying himself as a Corpus Christi Police Officer on October 22, 2011.  He was charged with Aggravated Assault and Impersonating a Public Servant.  He was later accused of trying to interfere with the investigation and Tampering with a Witness.  On January 6, 2012, the task force arrested him on three outstanding warrants at 3201 S. Staples one of which was a Felony Bond Violation out of Nueces County. (Offense report #1201130049) 

Jason Michael Garcia (10/07/67) was first placed under arrest when he assaulted and then threatened his wife with a knife.  He was charged with Aggravated Assault w/Deadly Weapon.  Task force members arrested him at 5902 Ayers Street on January 12, 2012, when they were notified of an outstanding Probation Violation warrant for Aggravated Assault.  (Offense report #1009050143 and #1201120101) 

Supervisor Deputy Carlos Alvarado and Supervisor Deputy Russell O’Rielly are in charge of the task force which covers Nueces, Kleberg, San Patricio, Aransas, Brooks, Jim Wells, Duval, Refugio, Kennedy, Live Oak, and Bee Counties.  The task force consists of seven U.S. Marshals, one Sheriff’s Officer, one TDC Officer and two CCPD Officers who daily pursue our most wanted. 

CCPD Senior Officers Matthew Harmon and Heleodoro Cantu who were deputized in 2007 and 2010, respectively, have proven to be a valuable asset to the department and to the task force.

Forgery Suspect Sought

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Corpus Christi Police Department Financial Crimes Unit Detectives would like the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect involved in the forgery at the Stripes Convenience Store located at 2002 Morgan.  On February 6, 2012, Patrol Officers contacted store personnel who reported a fraudulent check was passed at the store.

The store clerk reported the customer asked to reload a pre-purchased debit card using a check which did not clear.  Store personnel received a fraud alert on both the check and cards.

The suspect is described as a red-haired White male, 30 to 40 years of age and 5’10” to 6’2” feet tall.  He fled in a red pick-up truck driven by an unidentified driver and were last seen traveling westbound on Morgan Street.

Anyone having any information regarding this crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS or the Corpus Christi Police Department Financial Crimes Unit at 361-886-2841.