Jury views dramatic video of jail escapees' capture

Luis Arroyo on trial in connection with bold breakout in 2018

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SAN ANTONIO – A jury Tuesday viewed dramatic video from a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter that showed the capture of three inmates who escaped from the Bexar County Jail in March 2018.

Among the three inmates who made the bold breakout was Luis Arroyo, 41, who is on trial for the escape.

The capture of Arroyo and the two other inmates at a Sonic restaurant in the 2300 block of Blanco Road was a law enforcement team effort, Bexar County Assistant District Attorney Lorina Rummel said during opening arguments in Arroyo's trial on escape charges.

Jeremiah Garza, a DPS Trooper, testified that Arroyo and the other inmates left the fast-food restaurant and ran toward a home in a nearby neighborhood.

"They were trying to get into that home, there, to take cover," Garza testified.

Garza said he spotted Arroyo first as the others ran in another direction.

"He was walking around between the white SUV and the building, and that's when I drew my pistol on him," he testified.  

Jesse Perez, a DPS Trooper, also testified about the capture.

"We took him at gunpoint with a tackle technique, and I was able to secure him with handcuffs," Perez testified. "I asked him his name, and he responded by saying, 'You got me.' And then he told me his name was Luis Arroyo." 

At the time of the escape, Arroyo was in jail on capital murder charges awaiting trial, which eventually ended in a mistrial. 

The capital murder indictment remains in place, but Arroyo is being tried this time on escape charges, which normally carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. But because of Arroyo's extensive criminal history, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if he is convicted.

Testimony is expected to continue Wednesday before Senior State District Court Judge Laura Parker in the 227th District Court.

About the Author:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.