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.