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Fatal chase suspect faces murder, weapon charges

One man dead, wife in hospital after crash

SAN ANTONIO - The man who led police on a wild chase that claimed the life of a motorcyclist is facing a long list of charges, police said.

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Benito Garza, 36, was taken into custody Friday night after crashing his car into a motorcycle and killing a man while driving on the wrong side of the highway.

The chase happened at about 7:30 p.m. Friday in the 9400 block of Southwest Loop 410, just south of Old Pearsall Road.

Chief William McManus said Garza forced his way into a home at the 5100 block of Sagamore Road, took some cash and a phone and sped off.

The homeowner tried to stop him, but Garza, armed with a shotgun, shot at him.

That homeowner was okay, but McManus said Garza continued on Old Pearsall Road, turned into a gas station and then entered the highway, driving in the wrong lane.

"Before he reached the exit ramp, just before he reached it, the two officers in the pursuit told everyone to back off," said McManus. "And, they terminated the pursuit right there."

Although police called off the chase, Garza, still traveling on the wrong side of the 410, slammed into a motorcycle with two people on it.

According to the police report, another driver in a car behind the motorcycle, ran over and killed 55 year old Pedro Tenorio. His 41-year-old wife Roxanne flew from the bike and into that car’s windshield.

Despite the crash, Garza still tried to get away, eventually jumping out of his car and making a run for it.

"He did have his weapon," said McManus. "He was trying to climb the fence with his weapon. The officers wrestled with him and pulled him off the fence and were able to apprehend him."

Garza faces charges of murder, aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, evading arrest, failing to stop and render aid and unlawfully carrying a weapon.

Roxanne Tenorio is at University Hospital, where she was last listed in "guarded condition."

The couple is from Corpus Christi, where neighbors received word on Saturday morning about what happened to the Tenorios.

One neighbor who didn't want to be identified said she was devastated.

"It's just tragic," she said. "It's a real blow to the neighborhood. Everybody is real upset about it, all the neighbors are talking about it and we are just praying for her that she recovers."

Police said an officer on the pursuit gave first aid to Roxanne Tenorio before EMS arrived and is credited with saving her life.

This is the second incident this week where police have been involved in a pursuit that ended with a death.

Chief William McManus said on Friday that protocols were followed exactly in both cases.


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