SAPD arrest suspect in two attempted kidnapping cases; man could be connected to more incidents

Jorge Rivera, 18, is in custody

Jorge Rivera, 18, is accused in two attempted kidnapping cases. (BCSO/KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police announced Friday that an arrest was made in two attempted kidnapping cases and an arrest affidavit is shedding light on how the suspect was caught.

Jorge Ruedes Rivera Jr., 18, is charged with two counts of attempt to commit kidnapping.

Jail records show he is being held with bonds totaling $150,000.

San Antonio police confirmed the arrest but would not provide details on how Rivera was identified as a suspect in the two near-abductions. However, an arrest warrant affidavit reveals new details about the two cases and a possible connection to several other incidents at downtown hotels.

March 17 attempted kidnapping

At noon on March 17, a 27-year-old woman was walking in the 5800 block of Wales Avenue.

She told police that someone in a maroon Nissan Murano drove past her and then stopped in front of her in at intersection.

A man got out of the car and grabbed her and tried to force her into the backseat of the SUV. During the struggle, the man’s hat fell off and the victim scratched her nails into the man’s chest under his shirt, the affidavit stated.

The woman was able to get away and get help from neighbors as the man sped away from the scene.

Police collected the hat and swabbed the victim’s fingernails for DNA evidence. Police also collected surveillance video from the area.

March 18 attempted kidnapping

On March 18, several young girls were walking in the 400 block of Villareal Street on the city’s Southeast Side when a man exited his SUV and grabbed a 12-year-old girl. He tried to drag her to his vehicle, but one of her friends sprayed the man with pepper spray, allowing the girls to run away.

SAPD looking to identify suspect/vehicle from an attempted kidnapping on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at approximately 2:30 p.m. in the 400 block of Villarreal Street. (SAPD)

Rivera suspected in several more incidents

March 18

According to the affidavit, a 24-year-old woman said she met a man at a Denny’s restaurant on East Commerce Street in the early morning hours of March 18.

She asked him for directions to her hotel and he walked with her.

But, as they were walking along the River Walk near the 100 block of East Houston Street at about 4:45 a.m., the woman told police that she believed he was actually walking her farther from her hotel. That’s when the man got behind her and touched her genitals over her clothing.

The victim said her phone was ringing and she ran away.

March 19

In an incident on March 19 at the Emily Morgan Hotel on East Houston Street, police said a man matching Rivera’s description entered the hotel at about 11 p.m. and took the elevator to the basement floor.

He entered the women’s restroom and grabbed a 59-year-old woman from behind and touched her genitals through her clothing.

March 20

Just after 5:30 p.m. on March 20, a man entered the Menger Hotel in the 200 block of Alamo Plaza and approached a female employee. He pushed her against an ice vending machine and said, “if you don’t comply, you won’t get out alive,” according to the affidavit. The victim kicked the man in the groin and was able to run away.

March 23

Police received a call for a Murano driving in circles around Holy Name School in the 3800 block of Nash Boulevard. The caller got a license plate number from the Murano and described the driver.

Police said in all of the above cases from March 18-23, the descriptions of the suspect were similar and he wore the same clothes witnessed by undercover officers.

Connecting Rivera to the crimes

According to Rivera’s arrest warrant affidavit, San Antonio police connected Rivera to the case using SAPD traffic stop data. SAPD had also responded to Rivera’s home for mental health calls “involving the defendant and his aggression toward family,” the affidavit states.

At one point in the last week, police tried to pull Rivera over while he was driving the Murano, but he was driving erratically and officers were unable to get him to stop.

Rivera’s Arrest

SAPD obtained a search warrant and took Rivera into custody on March 23.

According to the affidavit, Rivera initially denied the allegations but then told officers that he had been hearing voices in his head that he believes are extra-terrestrials. The voices tell him to do things.

Police said Rivera confessed to the two attempted kidnapping cases as well as the encounters at the Emily Morgan and Menger hotels.

He said the voices in his head “told him to have a lustful experience with the females.”

Court records show Rivera is charged with two counts of attempt to commit kidnapping, but has not been charged with the incidents at the hotels.

About the Author

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

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