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SAPD nabs Exxon robbery suspect in S.A. hospital
Wilson County NewsAugust 20, 2014 2,871 views 2 comments
Matthew Valdemar Zapata, 18, of San Antonio is being held in the Bexar County Jail, awaiting extradition to Wilson County, after being arrested in connection with an Aug. 3 armed robbery in Floresville.
Police in Floresville and San Antonio have been working hand in hand in the ongoing investigation since it was revealed that the armed robbery of the One Stop convenience store at the Exxon gas station in Floresville might have been committed by the same suspects who shoplifted from a San Antonio Dollar General store earlier that morning.
By Aug. 13, police in San Antonio had identified Zapata as the man seen in the store’s surveillance video brandishing an automatic pistol and demanding money from the clerk. Detective George Ortiz of the Floresville Police Department said Wilson County Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Richard “Dickie” Jackson issued an arrest warrant.
Officers in San Antonio arrested Zapata the next day at approximately 5 p.m. Ortiz said police learned of his whereabouts after an employee at a hospital, after having seen news reports, recognized Zapata as a patient.
According to a San Antonio Police Department arrest report, officers were called at 5:06 p.m. to Nix Behavioral Health Center on Babcock Road for a reported disturbance. The caller said Zapata “suddenly became erratic, throwing chairs, and trying to ‘break out’ of the facility.”
Officers arrested Zapata without incident on the aggravated robbery warrant from Floresville and on five municipal warrants from San Antonio before transporting him to the Bexar County Jail. As of press time Aug. 18, he had not been extradited to Wilson County.
Armed robberies of convenience stores in the San Antonio metropolitan area continue to grab news headlines. Ortiz said he hopes that Zapata’s prompt arrest will send a message that Floresville will not tolerate such behavior.
“You’re going to get caught in Floresville!” he said.
After the gunman left the Exxon at approximately 11 a.m. Aug. 3 with an undisclosed amount of cash, he fled on foot before getting into a white Chevrolet Trailblazer and leaving in the company of an unknown male suspect. Officials said a witness chased the duo through the streets of Floresville while updating Wilson County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers of his location. The man had to suspend the pursuit when one of the suspects leaped from the vehicle and pointed a gun at him.
Ortiz said he and other Floresville officers, along with Wilson County sheriff’s deputies, were closing in on the area near Canta Rana Park on Goliad Road in Floresville when the suspects slipped away.
“We missed them by three seconds,” Ortiz said.
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