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George Álvarez: The man suspected of fatally running over eight migrants in Texas

George Alvarez's long criminal history list includes previous DUI and assault charges

George Álvarez, sospechoso de atropellar fatalmente a ocho personas en Texas | Shutterstock y captura de pantalla

May 8, 2023 10:12pm

Updated: May 8, 2023 10:12pm

Police in Brownsville, Texas, on Monday identified the alleged perpetrator of the fatal hit-and-run of migrants as George Álvarez, a man with a long criminal record.

Alvarez, 34, a Mexican national, was charged with involuntary manslaughter after killing eight Venezuelan men, and injuring more than 10, while they sat on the sidewalk of the Centro Obispo Enrique San Pedro Ozanam homeless shelter.

The officers in charge of the case circulated a poster with Alvarez's mug shot and his long criminal history, including:

  •      Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
  •      Assault against an older adult or with disabilities
  •      Assault against a public servant
  •      Vehicle theft
  •      Assault causing bodily injury
  •      Criminal conduct
  •      DUI (Driving under the influence of alcohol)
  •      Evading arrest
  •      Interference with public duties
  •      Obstruction or retaliation
  •      Marijuana possession
  •      Theft of property.

Álvarez pleaded guilty to one count of assault in 2006 for beating a detention officer at a Brownsville jail. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, but the charges were dropped in 2010 after an appeals court found him not guilty, according to a summary of the trial shared by Georgetown Law.

The police confirmed that six of the victims of the collision died at the scene, and two injured lost their lives in the hospital.

Brownsville Police Chief Félix Sauceda says it's still unclear if the mass murder was an intentional or accidental act, as Alvarez is uncooperative with authorities at this time.

Víctor Maldonado, head of the Obispo Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center, said that at the time of the event between 20 and 25 migrants were sitting on the sidewalk across the street from the shelter, waiting for a bus, and that the victims had arrived at the shelter two or three days ago.

Authorities obtained a blood sample and ordered a toxicology test for Álvarez, who is being held on $3.6 million bail.

Reactions to the case

The horrifying event has sent shockwaves through the migrant community, which is questioning why a man with such an extensive criminal history was on the loose.

"It appears that the (Brownsville) prosecutor is inept and should be removed as soon as possible. (Álvarez) has a long criminal record and why was he free to commit this horrible crime? It appears that the Brownsville police are just as useless as Uvalde! The prosecutor is definitely a joke!" one user commented on a post from the city's Police Department about the case.

"Accident? It was a hate crime," added another netizen.

Obviously it was done on purpose. You have to investigate, it seems that (Álvarez) is drugged," said a third.