What began as a ‘sting operation drug bust’ ended up as a stand-off with authorities. Department of Public Safety (DPS), Texas Parks and Wildlife were also there on the scene, and the Taft Fire Department and Taft EMS were on standby.
Tiffany Vega, 27, of Corpus Christi (the passenger in the back seat) and the driver, Alejandro Aparicio, 19, of Corpus Christi, and Alejandro Rios, 19, of Corpus Christi (front passenger), were being investigated regarding drugs.
Vega and Aparicio were both arrested by the Taft Police Department for the “manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance.” The TPD found over 100 grams of synthetic marijuana.
Meanwhile, Rios had jumped into the driver’s seat and took off in the vehicle, attempting to evade arrest. Rios had repeatedly yelled that he was armed with a weapon as he drove off.
In addition, he rammed Chief Deputy Oscar Rivera’s patrol car as he was attempting to escape. Sinton’s Sheriff’s Department was able to locate the vehicle soon after the pursuit began, near La Reina St. and W. Verbina St. in Taft.
After the vehicle was stopped, according to reports, Rios pointed an unidentified object, under a towel, out the window while exclaiming, “I am on parole and have nothing to lose!”
Due to difficult visibility and Rios’ constant threats claiming he was armed, authorities had initiated all protective measures. Through much patience and restraint, Chief Deputy Oscar Rivera was able to do a lot of negotiating to de-stress the situation, though the stand-off lasted over an hour.
After Rios finally cooperated and showed that both hands were empty, he was arrested and brought to the San Patricio County jail at 2:40 a.m.
Rios was charged with an aggravated assault against a public servant (for ramming the patrol car). He was also charged with the manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance, as well as evading arrest.
His bond was set at $50,000 for evading arrest, plus an additional $15,000 for manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance, as well as $50,000 for assault on an officer (patrol car).
Rios was released from jail late Tuesday afternoon. As of press time, Vega and Apricio were still in the San Patricio County jail, and their bond is set at $15,000 each for manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance.
No weapon was found in the vehicle after it was searched.
Police Chief John Landreth, who was one of the arresting officers that took Aparicio and Vega in, commented on how well the departments from the towns work together to help one another in dangerous situations like the one that occurred Sunday morning.
“We all work very well together,” he said. “We’ve got that teamwork, so when somebody calls in for help, everybody’s there. If you need help, you ask one time, and we are there. That’s true for every agency in San Pat County.”