Stolen purse, vehicle leads to fight, arrest of parole violator


A Port Arthur man was arrested Monday, Dec. 2 after police say he stole a 64-year-old woman's purse from her vehicle at Super Stop convenience store, 6900 32nd St. in Groves.

According to an affidavit for arrest warrant obtained by The Examiner, around 11:45 a.m., Armando Reyes Silva, 19, grabbed the purse of Groves resident Mary Gautreaux, and attempted to flee the scene in a Ford Ranger pickup that had been reported stolen from a Port Arthur business around 11 a.m. Monday morning.

Gautreaux said several witnesses in the area confronted Silva who then started to fight with them over the purse. One of the male witnesses grabbed the purse and was assaulted by Silva, said Groves City Marshall Jeff Wilmore.

"One of the witnesses was assaulted by the actor (Silva), as the actor tried to keep control of the purse," Wilmore said, adding that he believed Silva bloodied the man's nose during the fight.

Groves Police Department officers responded to the scene, prompting Silva to drop the purse and flee eastbound on Taft Avenue toward the 6800 block of Willow, according to the affidavit.

Wilmore said one of the witnesses pursued the suspect into a residential area and Silva pulled a handgun on him.

"One of the witnesses chased him in the neighborhood and at one point in time, there was a confrontation when the witness was going to catch up with him. He turned and pointed a firearm at him," Wilmore said. "We were unable to locate that firearm." Wimore said it was a small caliber semi-auto pistol, according to the witness.

According to the affidavit, police did locate Silva, however, running behind a residence in the 2800 block of Oak Ave. The suspect jumped a fence and was apprehended in the 2800 block of Maple, where he was arrested.

After further investigation police discovered Silva was in possession of a stolen Ford Ranger. He was booked into Jefferson County Jail and charged with aggravated robbery, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and a parole violation. According to a source at the District Parole Office in Beaumont, Silva was on parole for aggravated robbery and was supposed to be on electronic monitoring.

Officers from the Port Neches Police Department and Fire Marshal's office assisted the Groves Police Department in the arrest, Wilmore said.

"We do things a little different in Mid-County," Wilmore said. "Everyone throws in together. Our fire marshals and the Port Neches fire marshals along with the Port Neches Police Department assisted. Our patrol supervisors have the authority that if another city has a significant offense or needs help, to immediately send help over. We have a lot of systems that we share. Our radio system is shared, our dispatch office is shared, our computer system are all shared in trying to have a better quality system at a reasonable expense to our taxpayers. Our Mid-County municipal league started that years ago."

Wilmore said officers from the fire marshal's office helped locate, chase and subdue the suspect.

"One of our fire marshals was actually involved in the arrest," he said. "That's a little bit unusual, but they're peace officers. They monitor our channels and if they're close and they can assist, they assist."

Silva was arraigned and is being held on bonds of $50,000 for aggravated robbery and $10,000 for unauthorized use of a vehicle.