Press Releases

Press Release #122315(12)-Intoxicated Driver Arrested After Hit and Run on Houston Harte
Dec 23, 2015   03:32 PM
Just before 9:00 p.m. last night, San Angelo Police were dispatched to the 4300 block of the W Houston Harte Expressway for the report of a two-vehicle crash.
While enroute, responding Officers received information that one of the vehicle's drivers fled the crash scene on foot along with a child, and were headed towards the Olive Garden Restaurant.
Responding Officers arrived and located the female and young child hiding in a culvert across from Cavender's Western Outfitter. The woman was identified as Leslie Zapata (DOB 06-10-90) of San Angelo and confirmed to be the driver. During the investigation, Officers smelled the odor of alcohol coming from Zapata and suspected she was driving while intoxicated. Zapata was also found to have three outstanding arrest warrants. It was also determined that Zapata and the 4-year-old male child were not injured during the crash.
During the investigation, Police determined that a 28-year-old San Angelo man was operating a 2006 Saturn SUV on the frontage road when Zapata exited the ramp at a high rate of speed and collided with his vehicle. The collision caused Zapata to lose control of her vehicle, a 2003 Hyundai Elantra, before coming to a rest in a nearby ditch. The driver of the Saturn and his 32-year-old female passenger were not injured in the crash.
San Angelo Police obtained a Child Safety Seat from the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office and transported the child to a family member's home.
Zapata was arrested for the outstanding warrants and Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger Under 15YOA and transported to the Tom Green County Jail where she submitted a breath specimen.
Zapata received citations for Fail to Control Speed and transporting a child passenger without a Child Passenger Safety Seat System.

Press Release #122315(11)-Justice for Joe Lopez
Dec 23, 2015   01:57 PM
Yesterday, San Angelo Police arrested Christopher Lee Mata (DOB 02-16-76) and Nicole Lorelle Johnson (DOB 05-02-75) of San Angelo in connection to the fatal hit and run crash that occurred on South Chadbourne Street in August that resulted in the death of 21-year-old Joe Carlos Lopez.
Yesterday afternoon, Detectives with the Department's Criminal Investigations Division obtained Arrest Warrants for Mata and Johnson and located the pair just before 4:00 p.m. at Lone Star Meat Packing, 2150 E 37th Street. Mata and Johnson were taken into custody without incident and subsequently booked into the Tom Green County Jail for 2nd Degree Felony Failure to Stop and Render Aid (Accident Involving Death).
Mata and Johnson became persons of interest in mid-September after police received an anonymous Crime Stoppers tip from someone who had viewed a video plea for help featuring Lopez's mother, Rose Lopez. []
After following up on the tip, Police developed information about the location of the white 2002 Ford Expedition driven at the time of the crash, as well as information about the pair's efforts to conceal the incident by repairing and eventually discarding the vehicle.
Lopez was killed as he was riding his skateboard on Chadbourne Street near East Avenue I on August 2, 2015 around 2:30 a.m. The suspect vehicle's color, make and model were discovered after police obtained surveillance video from a location near the crash site.
Since Lopez's death, members of the Department's Traffic Section, Criminal Investigations Division, Patrol Division, Crime Analysis Unit, CSI Unit, Special Operations Section, Narcotics Section, Crime Stoppers Unit, and Office of Public Information have worked together to follow leads and locate the persons responsible for Lopez's death and help bring closure to his family.

Press Release #122215(10)-Two Arrested in August Skateboard, Vehicle Fatality Hit & Run
Dec 22, 2015   08:04 PM
San Angelo Police have arrested two people in connection with the death of 21-year-old Joe Carlos Lopez, the skateboarder who was struck by an SUV on South Chadbourne Street on August 2, 2015.
Christopher Lee Mata (DOB 02-16-76) and Nicole Lorelle Johnson (DOB 05-02-75) of San Angelo were arrested this evening and charged with Felony Failure to Stop and Render Aid (Accident Involving Death).
Addition information, including details that led to the arrests, will be released tomorrow.

122215(09)-?Tis the Season to be Jolly and Aware of Thieves, Burglars
Dec 22, 2015   10:32 AM
Holiday Crime Prevention Tips
'Tis the season to be jolly, but it is also the season to be wary of burglars, thieves, and other holiday grinches ? and nothing can ruin the Christmas spirit faster than becoming the victim of a crime.
Unfortunately, burglars view the holiday season a little differently?for them, it is a time of opportunity to burglarize your home for cash, credit cards, and gifts. The following are a few strategies that will help you protect your home and enjoy the holidays without incident:
  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your house or apartment, even for a few minutes.
  • Don?t openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in the front window so it's easily visible from the street. It's too tempting for a potential criminal to smash the window and grab the wrapped packages or plan a later break-in based on their earlier observation.
  • Don?t advertise ?Burglars look for occupancy cues like outdoor lights burning 24 hours a day, piled up newspapers, mail, or advertising flyers hanging on the doorknob.
  • If you?re leaving town for the holidays, add your residence to the Department's House Watch list. Register online at or call the SAPD's Desk Duty Officer at (325) 481-2696.
  • Don?t leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages like, ?You?ve reached the Wilson's?we?re away skiing for the Christmas holidays?please leave a message.? Bad guys love to hear that they have plenty of time to break in and completely ransack your home.
  • Use an inexpensive light timer when you are away and ask a neighbor to pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • If you go out for the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the house or apartment appears to be occupied.
  • Burglars know to look for the hidden door key near the front entrance. Don?t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead, give the spare key to a trusted neighbor.
  • Burglars prefer to enter through unlocked doors or windows. A holiday problem can occur when exterior Christmas light extension cords are run inside through a window and prevent it from being secured.
  • After Christmas day, don?t pile up empty gift boxes from your new computer, DVD player, or stereo receiver on the street for the garbage man. Burglars appreciate knowing that you have expensive gifts inside for them to steal. Break the boxes down or cut them up and conceal the items in dark-colored lawn bags, then wait to discard them in your recycling bin until your trash pickup day.
We hope you find these tips helpful in protecting your family and home this Holiday Season!

Press Release #122115(08)-Police Investigate Shooting Incident in Northeast San Angelo
Dec 21, 2015   04:55 PM
The San Angelo Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division is investigating a shooting that took place this morning in northeast San Angelo.
Just before 3:00 a.m. this morning, Police were dispatched to the 700 block of Velma Street for the report of shots fired. Upon arrival, police were directed to a residence in the 1700 block of Pope Street where they located a 37-year-old man lying on the ground, suffering from apparent gunshot wounds to the chest and arm. Officers at the scene provided first aid to the victim until San Angelo Fire Department Medics arrived and transported him to Shannon Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery. His condition is unknown at this time.
Through a combined effort of the Criminal Investigations Division, Special Operations Section, Narcotics, Patrol, Crime Scene Investigations, and the Department's Crime Analysis Unit, Otis Layne Babb (DOB 05-02-83) of Eldorado, Texas was identified as the suspect and a warrant was obtained for his arrest. Babb was located late this afternoon at an undisclosed location and taken into custody without incident. The firearm used in the assault has been recovered.
Babb was charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and transported to the Tom Green County Jail.
The victim's name is not being released at this time. The relationship between the victim and Babb and the circumstances leading up to the shooting are still under investigation. There is no further information at this time.