George Alvarez has an “extensive criminal record,” according to police, and was charged with eight counts of manslaughter and 10 counts of aggravated assault
BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Brownville Police Department Chief Felix Sauceda said during a news conference Monday morning that the driver accused of killing eight people at a Brownsville bus stop on Sunday is known to his department.
George Alvarez has an “extensive criminal record,” Sauceda said, and is charged with eight counts of manslaughter and 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon connected to Sunday’s incident.
The 35-year-old’s bond is pegged at $3.6 million.
His criminal history includes aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; assault against the elderly or disabled; assault causing bodily harm to a family member; assault on a public official; vehicle burglary; assault resulting in personal injury; criminal malice; driving while intoxicated; evading arrest detention; interference with public duties; obstruction or retaliation; possession of marijuana; resist arrest, search, or the transportation and theft of property.
Alvarez reportedly ran into a group of migrants in Brownsville, killing eight of them, and is refusing to cooperate with police, officials said.
“He’s not just combative. He’s just saying ‘no, I won’t,’ and he’s going to tense up and then make it harder for detention officers to do their job, but we’re talking to him,” said Lt. Martin Sandoval of the department. Brownsville Police Department.
Detectives said the driver ran a red light and crashed into the group of people waiting on a bus, killing eight and injuring at least six.
A group of passers-by held the driver down after he got out of the overturned SUV because they said he was trying to flee the scene, according to Sandoval.
The man was taken to hospital where his blood was taken for drug and/or alcohol testing after a warrant was issued. The man is currently charged with reckless driving, but those charges should be updated, Sandoval said.
The man did not have any ID on him and gave investigators several names, officials said, and are working on having him fingerprinted so they can look at them through databases.
“He still hasn’t received his mug shot and fingerprints because he’s not cooperating,” Sandoval said. “And it’s difficult because if you have an uncooperative fingerprint subject, you start to get a lot of smearing and smearing, and it’s difficult to get an accurate identification via AFIS. We need him to be calm and cooperative.”
Police said they can hold the man for up to 72 hours on reckless driving charges, which gives them time to gather evidence and make decisions about whether to upgrade the charges.
If the man is found to have drugs or alcohol in his system, he could face charges of manslaughter by intoxication, officials said. Manslaughter isn’t out of the question either, and if he is found to have intentionally walked in on the group, Sandoval said officials plan to see what federal charges can be brought.