Police video shows previous arrest of man killed in officer-involved shooting

A Tarrant County grand jury will begin hearing evidence on Wednesday against a Grapevine police officer who shot and killed a driver after a short chase.

Ruben Garcia Villalpando was arrested for drunk driving by Lewisville police in December of 2014. Now, the police video from that arrest has been released.

Prosecutors won't say if it will be part of grand jury evidence, but the high-profile case is being watched by the Mexican government since Garcia Villalpando was an illegal immigrant.

In his December 2014 arrest, Garcia Villalpando was pulled over on Business Highway 121 in a white Dodge pickup and was clocked going 78 in a 60-mile-an-hour zone.

The Lewisville police officer converses in Spanish with Garcia Villalpando and conducts a series of field sobriety tests, which Garcia Villalpando stumbles through and fails.

Garcia Villalpando told the arresting officer that his boss was upset he'd been drinking beer at work and had sent him home. But he claimed to be sober after having just four beers.

He was handcuffed, questioned and placed in the back seat of a squad car without incident.

The officer reported finding a half full bottle of Miller Lite in the pickup behind the seat, still cold.

The ride to the police station was also uneventful. Garcia Villalpando was taken into what Lewisville police call their intoxilizer room. Given the option, he chose a breathalyzer test over a blood draw.

He was given two breathalyzer tests -- blowing a 0.299 and a 0.307 -- more than three times the legal limit.

Because of the high level of alcohol in his system, Garcia Villalpando was taken to a Lewisville hospital and treated there before being transported to jail.

"The family believes that there's a smear campaign being done against Ruben Garcia, who can't defend himself; he's six feet under…just before a grand jury hears it," said Domingo Garcia, an attorney for Garcia Villalpando's family.

Domingo Garcia calls the Lewisville arrest irrelevant to what happened 10 weeks later.

The Lewisville DWI case was still pending on Friday, Feb. 20 when Garcia Villalpando was shot and killed by Grapevine Police Officer Robert Clark after a high-speed chase that ended on Hwy. 121 in Euless.

A passing motorist recorded cell phone video before the shooting that appears to show Clark with his weapon drawn and Garcia Villalpando with his hands on his head.

Grapevine police say Garcia Villalpando did have his hands in the air, but refused to comply with Officer Clark's demands to halt.

Later, an autopsy and blood tests would show that Garcia Villalpando was too drunk to drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.14 –- nearly twice the legal limit.

Domingo Garcia says the only relevance between the two incidents is to compare the two officers' behavior.

"Polar opposites," said Domingo Garcia. "A Lewisville police officer acts, treats him with respect, treats him with professionalism, he complies with everything. Nothing happens."

Domingo Garcia, who has been among those demanding the public release of dash cam video in the Grapevine shooting, says he saw it personally for the first time Monday.

He says Officer Clark is verbally abusive, cursing throughout and that Garcia Villalpando is cooperating up until the moment he is shot.

"Does everything the officer tells him to do," said Domingo Garcia. "At one point, puts his hands behind his back to be handcuffed and tries to cooperate, and the officer just keeps verbally abusing him…'Why are you calling me M.F.? What have I done? Can I talk to you?' And starts walking to the officer, ‘cause he's pretty far away, to have the officer listen to him, and then the officer shoots him twice…it actually happens right off camera, but you see him with his hands in the air as he's talking to the officer."

Grapevine police have maintained throughout that the investigation will show that Clark acted professionally and acted within law enforcement's best practices.

Grapevine police confirmed Tuesday that Officer Clark returned to work last Monday on restricted duty -- a desk job.

Efforts to contact his attorney Tuesday night have failed so far, but he's expected to also make a presentation to the grand jury on Wednesday, before the district attorney lays out the results of the investigation by Euless police.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In - includes advertiser stories