Fake Lyft driver arrested for fatal stabbing in Carrollton

Carrollton police have arrested a man who allegedly claimed to be a Lyft driver before a fatal stabbing.

Donaldo Velasquez, 44, was taken into custody around 8 p.m. Wednesday at his home in The Colony. He’s charged with murder for the death of 34-year-old Arnold Pinilla.

Pinilla was stabbed on July 31 as he and his girlfriend were leaving Casa Vieja, near Belt Line Road and Josey Lane. She told police they ordered a ride on Lyft and got into a car with a man claiming to be their driver.

But after a short distance, the driver asked them for money. They knew something wasn't right because that's something the ride sharing industry does not do.

Pinilla and the driver argued. The driver stopped the car on Myers Street and fatally stabbed Pinilla. He then took off, leaving the couple behind.

Carrollton PD spokeswoman Jolene DeVito called the case a completely random crime of opportunity. She said the description of the suspect’s vehicle, a 2005-2009 Subaru Legacy, and the sketch helped lead police to Velasquez.

Along with tips from viewers, detectives put actual vehicles similar to the suspect's car under the same lighting where the recording was made and determined it was a 10-year-old Subaru Legacy. 

Esperanca Valagura, Pinilla’s mother, said she is thankful for the police department and investigators who helped to put her son’s killer behind bars. But she still wants to know why. She’s also asking for justice and hopes Velasquez spends the rest of his life in prison.

“My brother was a very special kind of person, always smiling and always positive,” his sister Claudia Reyas said. “He was very loved. And to the guy who did it, I will wait for the day that we can see your face to see what you have for us all. I forgive you for what you did to my brother, but I feel sorry for the life that you will have from now on.”

Velasquez is being held in the Carrollton city jail. His bond has not yet been set.

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