San Jose Police Chief Has Still Got It, Tackles Fleeing Suspect

San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel made headlines this week for tackling a murder suspect who managed to escape from his holding cell.

The chief pulled up to work in his unmarked Chevrolet Monday morning, when he saw a handcuffed man sprinting in his direction, according to news reports. Esquivel told him to stop, to no avail. He bolted after him down to Mission Street near police headquarters and then tackled the suspect, who got away. The chief then reportedly tackled the suspect again to finally restrain him.

Esquivel, impressively fit at 53, came away virtually unscathed, except for a few scratches and a shirt tear.

The suspect was identified as 26-year-old Hector Flores Arias, who had been on the lam in Mexico after authorities accused him of killing 22-year-old Juan Mendoza in San Jose six years ago.

Police finally caught up to him after someone tipped them off, leading to Arias’ arrest Sunday near Guadalajara. When Mexican police caught up to him, Arias bit two officers and tried to attack a third.

Arias reportedly managed to maneuver his handcuffs to the front of his body inside a holding cell at the San Jose Police Department. He then breached a mechanical door and scaled a fence before running into Esquivel in the parking lot. Because of the incident, SJPD will audit security measures at the downtown facility.

15 Comments

  1. This headline lacks lyricism and concision. My dad had the opinion that it was never necessary to use the word “got”. It would roll off the eyeballs better to say “Still Has It” instead of “Has Still Got It”.

  2. Jack Slade Here!!!!!!!!!!

    I don’t understand why he didn’t do what SJPD does all the time, shoot him 14 times. Reason could be that there were to many witnesses and the suspect couldn’t reach for his waistband, didn’t make a furtive movement, didn’t have a shiny object in his hands (cuffs would have qualified) didn’t try to grab Mr. Mariachi’s gun and there was no way to say the Chief was in fear for his life. Now knowing the jail setup the only was a murderer could escape the jail is if total incompetence were practiced. There will be no punishment or investigation because there is no leadership. If he had escaped and killed a family and taken their car back to Mexico I am absolutely sure you would never had heard this now MEDAL of HONOR for the Chief incident.

    Poor quality hiring, poor training, poor supervision, poor leadership, emotionally unstable, low self-esteem, power over people oriented, lack of personal accountability as individuals and as organizations, militarization in preparation for potential Martial Law, no respect for what they consider communities of Suspects and victims not Citizens and an attitude of not only Above the Law, but Beyond the Law, wrapped in Legislative Actions and case Law. A number of Law Enforcement Agencies had done this, not to save anyone but to exert dominance and engage in High Fantasy Activity with unnecessary injury and death.
    It starts at the top.

    • First, great job Chief. You make us proud. Good thing you are the Chief Larry, because a number of your predecessors would have not involved themselves, and as a result they would have turned their head in fear of being hurt or embarrassed. Secondly, my response to this idiot ‘Nate Jeager,’ why don’t you do something important with your life. Apparently you could never have been a cop, and you may have been rejected in your application to be one. You are a coward on so many levels.

    • Nate Jaeger: you must have smoked a big bowl of meth between your first and second paragraphs. And the first was no model of clarity, either.

  3. How come no one mentions the faulty door, the inoperative cameras and the poor lone officer who was locked in the same 15 foot fence area that chased the suspect over the same razor wire?

  4. THERELIABLEINFORMER,

    The answer to your question can be found in the question. The media doesn’t consider it news when an “officer” scales a razor wire-topped fence and chases down a suspect. To be considered newsworthy an “officer” must either be accused of some wrongdoing or get killed in the line of duty.

    • I’m sure the officers who actually made the arrest initially were appreciative of any help they could get, from anyone. I would be really impressed though if after arresting the suspect, the chief had booked him into jail himself (sometimes a lengthy process that can take hours), and then wrote up his own arrest report. I would really be impressed if, while the officers who made the initial arrest were out of service completing the original arrest report, the chief handled calls in their unoccupied beat until their mound of paperwork was completed, and impressed indeed if the chief started handling calls for service and taking the usual reports, or started getting his hands dirty throwing fingerprint powder around at a burglary scene.

      I would stand in awe of the chief if he, like his genuine patrol officers, stood just stoic as a patrol cop who, due to poor staffing, was denied a leave day and so missed his kid’s first birthday or first Christmas; or if the chief came to work after having an argument with his spouse about his never being home because he spends too much time working mandatory overtime; or writing reports at the end of shift, or was in court on his days off, only to come to work and then have some uninspiring lieutenant time his coffee or dinner break with a stopwatch.

      It would be impressive indeed if the chief had made that arrest after handling a call where he had been spit at by prisoner; or if the chief came to work while nursing a bad back; or after missing lunch, or after learning he was being audited by the IRS; or after having been served divorce papers; or while still pissed off after yet another barrage of cop-bashing day-long cultural awareness lectures and the constant, undeserved criticism of the police profession by the media.

      I wonder if, while he was making that arrest, the chief was concerned that the decision he was forced to make in that split second might be second-guessed by those who have all the time in the world to apply their condescending hindsight from the comfort of an office or a conference room.

      I wonder if the chief had made that arrest after having come to work distracted by lack of sleep or illness and did so in order to avoid undeserved, yet common, scrutiny for sick leave abuse, or worried that he might get so overloaded with backed up calls for service that he might get a bit “snippy” with the next foul-mouthed suspect he encountered and then end up answering a rude conduct complaint at the Internal Affairs Unit.

      Chief, thanks for the “assist” on that arrest but I would be so awed that I would build a shrine to you if you would go down to City Hall, pound your shoe on the podium like Khrushchev, and demand more staffing. Let the patrol cops make the arrests. That’s our job; it’s what we do.

  5. While I am not a big fan of the SJPD I will give props on this one now if we could see a little bit more effort on reform I might even rethink my point of view however guilty until proven innocent in a biased court of law isn’t about to be fixed before I die so that’s as far as I will go thanks for all the harassment

  6. I put in a call to you wanting to know how the city lets convicted sex offenders who were selling meth, stealing cars, and were reported to the san jose police and to sheriffs office so that he could get off the streets, is being allowed to be an informant and now has four kids who were set up going to prison. Im one of those parents who handed you the scumbag on tip line and my son who went to prison once already is being prosecuted again with the guy that I told you about. NOT VERY GOOD FOR THE COMMUNITY INVOLVMENT THAT WE SO NEED. NEVER AGAIN >>>SEX OFFENDERS WITH A RECORD MILES LONG SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BARGAIN THEIR WAY OUT OF THIER CRIMES. I WISH YOU WOULD RETURN MY CALL, I HAVE LOST ALL FAITH IN THE DEPT ALONG WITH MANY MANY PARENTS IN SAN JOSE