Las Vegas police recently apprehended an escaped convict who was serving a life sentence for a fatal bombing outside the Luxor Resort & Casino in 2007.
Corrections Department officials said 42-year-old Porfirio Duarte-Herrera escaped from the Southern Desert Correctional Center in Indian Springs on September 23. He was attempting to flee on a bus to Tijuana four days later when he was captured by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers.
According to Sheriff Joe Lombardo, a worker at the bus station in downtown Las Vegas called 9-1-1 after recognizing Duarte-Herrera from one of the flyers that police handed out across local transportation depots.
Duarte-Herrera, described as a medium-security inmate, was arrested “without incident” just before boarding the bus. The arrest occurred just two hours after the department offered a $30,000 reward for information leading to his capture.
Lombardo said in a press conference that there was “no doubt this man was a danger to the community.” He also said the inmate was dropped off at the station by an individual known to the department, who would remain anonymous due to the ongoing investigation.
Police body-cam footage showed the moment of Duarte-Herrera’s arrest. An officer approached the fugitive and said, “Hey, what’s up, man? Hey. Hey, can I talk to you? Do you have ID on you? Come here, man.”
Then another officer put Duarte-Herrera into handcuffs.
“Don’t be stupid, don’t be stupid. Put your hands back,” the officer said.
Duarte-Herrera appeared despondent but cooperative.
“Whose ID is this, bro? Whose ID is this?” the officer asked.
“Mine,” replied Duarte-Herrera.
“Thought you were gonna go? Where were you gonna go?” the officer asked.
“Tijuana,” Duarte-Herrera said.
“Any guns in the bag?”
“Umm, clothes,” said Duarte-Herrera.
“You know why we got you, right?” the officer added.
“Yeah,” the fugitive responded. Duarte-Herrera had been serving a life sentence for murder with a deadly weapon after planting a pipe bomb outside the Luxor in 2007. The explosion killed 24-year-old Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio, a hot dog stand vendor working outside the hotel’s parking lot.
The motive for the murder was revenge against Antonio for dating a friend’s ex-girlfriend. The friend, Omar Rueda-Denvers, was also convicted and is behind bars at a separate prison.
Governor Steve Sisolak called the escape “unacceptable” and ordered the Corrections Department to conduct a thorough investigation.
Lombardo said Duarte-Herrera had a “four-day head start on authorities,” as neither Las Vegas police or the U.S. Marshals Service were notified of his escape until Tuesday, even though the Department of Corrections later confirmed he had been unaccounted for since the previous Friday.
“I’ve had a pretty extensive conversation with the Inspector General’s Office, in the Department of Corrections, as early as this morning. And I have confidence they’re going to come to the bottom of this, and implore resources to prevent it from happening again in the future,” Lombardo said.