Theft Investigation Leads To Stand-off With Fugitive; SWAT Arrests Suspect (Press Release)

by Public Information Officer, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 14:06 (1763 days ago)

ABILENE, TX – On April 22, 2014, at about 4:30 p.m., Patrol Division responded to a disturbance call at a residence in the 1900 block of Burger Street concerning the reported theft of a rifle by a known subject allegedly connected to the theft. As a Patrol Division officer arrived on scene, a subject, later identified as Artemio Hernandez Jr., (DOB: 03/01/79), ran into the residence as the officer exited her vehicle. The officer contacted a male subject in front of the residence whom was identified as the victim. The preliminary investigation revealed that the victim had information that implicated Hernandez as being in possession of the stolen firearm, a semi-automatic rifle, and that the rifle was stolen on/about April 21st from the victim’s residence. Other Patrol Division officers, as well as agents with the Special Operations Division (SOD), responded to assist.

Officers at the scene obtained more information during the preliminary investigation and attempted to contact Hernandez at the residence, but no residents ever responded to officers. Officers learned that Hernandez lived at the residence. A records check confirmed that Hernandez was a convicted felon and that he had one outstanding parole arrest warrant for the original offense of Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver. The residence remained contained while the investigation continued. Out of an abundance of caution, SWAT, and other elements of the Tactical Unit, were called-in to establish a perimeter and to begin additional attempts to contact Hernandez. Based on information gleaned during the investigation, SOD agents made application for a search and arrest warrant which was later signed by a magistrate.

Crisis Negotiation Team members worked alongside SWAT as they continued to make numerous attempts to establish communications with anyone inside the residence; but to no avail. Several hours into the standoff escalated with SWAT introducing chemical munitions (gases) into the residence. Within just a few minutes of introducing these gases, two occupants exited the residence and willingly surrendered to officers. One of the occupants was Hernandez. The other occupant was a female that the investigation revealed was known to Hernandez. The residence was searched and no other occupants were located. The female subject was detained and later released. Hernandez was arrested and questioned by investigators.

The search of the residence did not uncover the stolen rifle, but did uncover another rifle that was seized pending further investigation. Small quantities of narcotics were also seized from inside the residence. Hernandez was arrested for his warrant and for felony Possession of Methamphetamine and misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana. The investigation is ongoing. These cases will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for their consideration of charges.

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