By Moses Leos III
A man who evaded detention after running from a traffic stop along north Burleson Street Thursday was apprehended several hours later after an intense manhunt.
But the show of force by law enforcement while trying to apprehend the suspect concerned a few people.
On Thursday, Kyle Police arrested Jaime Arce Esquivel, 25, of San Antonio. Esquivel was booked into the Hays County Jail on a charge of Evading Arrest/Detention, which is a Class-A misdemeanor. Esquivel was released on May 27 on $5,000 bond.
According to a Hays County press release, the incident occurred at approximately 1 p.m. Thursday when a Hays County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to make a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Burleson Street in Kyle.
The driver, later identified as Equivel, pulled over the 2009 gray Honda Accord he was driving and then fled the scene on foot.
Over the next few hours, officers from the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, along with the San Marcos, Kyle and Buda Police Departments and K-9 units searched for Esquivel. That included members of the Hays County SWAT unit, along with a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter.
“The tactical team was training yesterday and was in the area when the call went out, they responded,” HCSO Lt. Jeri Skrocki said in an emailed response. “They were engaging in field search training and this incident resulted in an abundance of officers in the area at the time and they were able to respond.”
The resulting search forced authorities to close most of north Burleson Street and Marketplace Avenue to commuters. Authorities eventually called off their initial search at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Roughly three hours later, Kyle Police observed Esquivel near the Vista at Plum Creek apartments along FM 1626. Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said Esquivel attempted to run from officers toward the Union Pacific railroad tracks near the complex. A second officer cornered Esquivel from the opposite direction and was able to bring him into custody around 7 p.m.
“We drove by and saw them open the car door and all the cops looked relieved as they all got a look at the guy,” Paige Ross Kimball wrote on the Hays Free Press Facebook page. “We just got to see legs but I assumed it must have been him for so many cops.”
But several residents also took to Facebook to voice concerns over the use of the SWAT team and search helicopter.
“This much manpower for a guy who fled from a traffic stop,” Osbeida Jaimes Reeves wrote on the Hays Free Press Facebook page. “He better be wanted for murder! A helicopter and everything, how much is the cost for that?”
Brian Basara wrote on Facebook that utilizing a SWAT team to look for a person who fled a traffic stop “sounds slightly extreme.”
“This ‘suspect’ better be wanted for war crimes,” Juan Manuel Martinez said on Facebook. “Using choppers … smh.”
Skrocki said in an emailed response that officers did not observe or find a weapon when Esquivel fled. Skrocki said he was perceived to be a threat due to his actions.
“His actions were suspect and he was handled as a dangerous person,” Skrocki said.