Category Archives: Patrol Division

Help Catch A Gumball Bandit


Occurred Sunday, April 22, 2012, 10:00 am, Theft 2600 Hospital Blvd. 1204220060

Police Property Crimes Investigators would like additional information from the public to identify the individual that stole a gumball machine from a local hospital last Sunday morning.

Hospital security notified police On Sunday morning that a man walked into the west doors of the Spohn Memorial Hospital, picked up a gumball machine, then took the machine to truck and then left the area. Hospital staff told police the man was not part of a maintenance crew and had no permission to take the machine valued at about $250.

The man is a white male that wore a tan cap, blue denim long sleeve shirt, blue jeans and black shoes. The man has brown hair and a mustache. The truck used in the theft was a green two door extended cab Chevy pickup truck.

Any person interested to research reported crime in Corpus Christi is encouraged to search Anyone with additional information that can identify this individual should call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS (8477) or log on to The information provided could earn the caller a cash reward.

$2,500 Damage Caused By Graffiti Vandal On S.P.I.D.

Occurred Saturday, April 21, 2012, 5000 South Padre Island Drive Graffiti ($2,500 in damage) 1204210093

Several buildings and fences were damaged by spray paint Saturday morning in the area of the 5,000 block of South Padre Island Drive.

Corpus Christi Police were called to the Salvation Army building to document damage done to the building. Police officers discovered other buildings and fences were damaged in a similar fashion along Mt. Vernon Drive. The cost to clean and repair the damage was estimated at about $2,500.

Police officers photographed the graffiti and collected spray paint containers found in the area as evidence. Police investigators continue to investigate area surveillance cameras to ascertain if any photographs of the act are recorded.

Anyone interested to research reported crime in Corpus Christi is encouraged to search Anyone with information about reported crime should call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS (8477) or log on to The information provided could earn the caller a cash reward.

In Memory Of A Fallen Officer, Roy Smith

By: Captain John Houston

On April 20, 1953, 59 years ago, Patrol Officer Roy Newton Smith was responding to a fight call when his patrol car was struck by another car at Staples and Lipan. Smith died of his injuries that day. Smith was 21 years old and had been on the department for just 4 months at the time of this tragic accident. Roy was married to Laverne Smith and had come here from Wichita Falls, Texas to work at the department. Roy and Laverne had one daughter Gail. Roy served with distinction in the Army having served in the Korean conflict before joining the department. Please take a moment out  of your day to remember our fallen brother. Our prayers remain with him and his family and may we never forget him and his sacrifice. Roy Smith is the fourth officer to die in the Line of Duty for the Department.

As a side note, we were able to locate his only daughter Gail Michalsky of Spring, Texas who never had a chance to know her father and she attended her first Police Officers Memorial Service last year. She was given a copy of the Wall of Honor photo by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Fight Over Woman Ends in Stabbing

Occurred on February 24, 2010 12:21AM     Comanche St & Tancahua St     Aggravated Assault     1202240004

Officers responding to a reported stabbing found the victim at the corner of Comanche and Tancahua Streets. The 28-year-old man, who had been stabbed in the lower left abdomen,  told officers that he and another man, Samuel Flores (DOB: 7/23/1968), had been fighting over a woman. The victim then told officers that Flores stabbed him in the side with a small pocket knife during the fight.  The man was taken to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital by ambulance for treatment of a non-life threatening injury.

A short time later, officers located Flores downtown.  Flores was still in possession of the knife.  Flores was arrested for aggravated assault and transported the City Detention Center. 


Corpus Christi Police Officers arrested three different people last night for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).


Kenneth Cloutier 6.29.65 was stopped at 12:06AM at Staples St and Furman Dr after his vehicle registration was found to be expired (1201190003).



Darren Diaz 4.13.90 was stopped at 12:33AM after running a stop sign at 5400 Bowie and Sokol (1201190006).



Juan Diaz 12.21.80 was stopped at 1:47AM after running a red light at Saratoga and Kostoryz (1201190008).


After Officers stopped these men, all were discovered to be intoxicated and all were arrested for DWI.

Promotion to Lieutenant

Lieutenant Phillip Bintliff was promoted from the rank of Senior Officer today by Interim Chief Richard Badaracco.  The ceremony was attended by many friends and co-workers, as well as Law Enforcement from other agencies.  All were in attendance with praise, well wishes, and congratulations for the newest Lieutenant in the Corpus Christi Police Department.

Chief Badarraco, Lieutenant Bintliff, Assistant Chief Garcia

Lt. Bintliff joined the Corpus Christi Police Department in January 2000.  In 2003 he earned the designation of Senior Officer.  Since 2003, Lt. Bintliff has had a very noteworthy career.

Lt. Bintliff was awarded The Police Medal of Valor along with The Police Shield resulting from his actions during an armed confrontation that took place in 2003.  During the confrontation, Lt. Bintliff was shot in the torso and his bullet resistant vest stopped the bullet.  The Police Medal of Valor is awarded to an Officer demonstrating exceptional bravery while facing the imminent risk of serious bodily injury.  The Police Shield is awarded to an Officer who is seriously injured in the line of duty due to an assault.

Lt. Bintliff was the Corpus Christi Police Department’s first Officer of the Year for his outstanding work in the Department’s Patrol Division In 2009.  The Officer of the Year is issued in recognition of exceptional police work, consistently displaying professionalism, and outstanding community service.  Highlighting all of these items, Lt. Bintliff went in the water three separate times to help rescue people in dangerous situations during the year.  During one of these water rescues, he performed CPR on a woman to help her regain her pulse.  That same year on patrol, Lt. Bintliff made many significant arrests including a traffic stop of a stolen car.  When the car stopped, the driver ran, but Lt. Bintliff caught him.  The driver had not only stolen the car he was driving, but had also committed a number of car burglaries.  These were solved due to Lt. Bintliff’s quick feet.

Lt. Bintliff was giving the Lifesaving Ribbon in 2009 for his lifesaving techniques noted above and again in 2010 more meritorious lifesaving actions.  The Lifesaving Ribbon is awarded to an Officer directly responsible for the saving of human life.

In addition to Lt. Bintliff’s remarkable career and on-the-job training, he has educated himself in the field of Criminal Justice, earning an Associate’s Degree from Del Mar College, a Bachelor’s Degree from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, and most recently a Master’s Degree from Sul Ross University in 2009.

Lt. Bintliff is a welcomed addition to the supervisory rank at the Corpus Christi Police Department.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Capt. McDonald congratulates Lieutenant Bintliff

CCPD Launches Patrol K-9 Unit

The Corpus Christi Police Department today is proud to announce the launch of the Patrol K-9 Unit.  This unit, under the supervision of Uniform Patrol Division Commander Santiago Escalante, provides the department with one more tool to achieve its commitment to reduce crime, the fear of crime and enhance public safety.  Although the police department has utilized drug detecting canines in the Narcotics Unit since the mid-1990s, the canines of the Patrol K-9 Unit will be the first ever patrol service dogs assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division.  In addition to their keen ability to detect narcotics, these highly trained “dual purpose” canines are able to conduct building searches, track fleeing suspects, search for missing persons and lost children, and apprehend violent offenders.


CCPD Patrol K-9 Unit
Corpus Christi Police Department Patrol K-9 Unit

In 2010, former Chief of Police Troy Riggs began attending daily “roll calls” to meet the men and women of the Uniform Division and to present his vision for the police department.  During these meetings, Chief Riggs took the opportunity to listen to the officers’ suggestions on how to better serve the community during a time of shrinking budgets and depleted staffing.  One common theme voiced by the rank and file was the dangers they encountered while searching for burglary suspects within darkened buildings or conducting open field searches for fleeing offenders.  Officers also mentioned the need for more drug detecting canines to improve their ability to combat the ever-present scourge of street level drug traffickers.  Supervisors cited the difficulty of conducting searches for lost children, missing persons, or fleeing suspects without the services of a well-trained tracking canine.

In the fall of 2010, Chief Riggs commissioned the Patrol Canine Feasibility Team to study the pros and cons of forming a K-9 Unit within the Uniform Patrol Division.  The committee consisted of City Risk Manager Donna James-Spruce, Terry Utrech, Director of the Union Pacific Railroad K-9 program, CCPD Narcotics K-9 Officers Allen Dial and Shawn Orsak, CCPD Training Officer Rodney Luzania, and Gang Unit Captain Todd Green.  The team examined crime data, reviewed lost time and injury claims, studied policies from numerous Law Enforcement Agencies and Working Dog Organizations, and consulted with experts in the working dog field, before presenting its findings to Chief Riggs and his Command Staff. The Committee recommended that the Police Department implement a Patrol K-9 program, but strongly emphasized the need for direct supervision, extensive and continuous training, and clearly defined policies regulating the deployment of the Patrol K-9s.  In January of 2011, Chief Riggs signed policy authorizing the creation of the Patrol K-9 program.

The first step in the program was the selection of the Patrol K-9 Supervisors. The K-9 policy signed by Chief Riggs required a serious commitment to the program from both the handlers and supervisors; the Patrol K-9 supervisors would be required to attend the same training as the handlers and agree to work the same evening patrol shift as the handlers for a period of at least two years.  In May of 2011, Lt. Anthony Sanders and Lt. Donnie Moore were selected as CCPD’s first Patrol K-9 Unit Supervisors.

The selection of the K-9 handlers followed.  City Risk Manager Donna James-Spruce, Commander Escalante, and Lieutenants Moore and Sanders oversaw the selection process as numerous officers vied for the right to become CCPD’s first Patrol K-9 handlers.  Applicants for the positions were expected to make a five-year commitment to the program, demonstrate excellent physical fitness, strong self-initiative, sound judgment and decision-making, and even temperament. Following a very rigorous and competitive selection process, Sr. Officer Lee Preiss and Sr. Officer Jason Lavastida were chosen as the Patrol K-9 Unit handlers.

In late August, the Lieutenants and handlers visited two canine vendors in the San Antonio area, and followed that with a visit to the Dallas Police Department K-9 Unit, where they were allowed to participate during training.  The information and insight gained while reviewing the Dallas program proved invaluable during the canine vendor selection process and implementation of our own Patrol K-9 program. The department eventually selected the well-regarded Hill Country Dog Center in Pipe Creek, Texas as the vendor to provide the canines and training for the program.

In late September the Lieutenants and handlers began the four-week K-9 handler training program at the Hill Country Dog Center.  Sr. Officer Preiss was introduced to his K-9 partner “Kimbo”, a German shepherd, while Sr. Officer Lavasitda was assigned K-9 “LaRoy”, a Belgian Malinois.  Lieutenants Sanders and Moore were also provided with canines during the four-week course, so that they could participate in the same training as the handlers.  Topics covered during the intense month-long course included caring and grooming for the animals, obedience training, building searches, scouting, tracking, narcotics detection, and officer protection. The four officers completed their training on October 21st and returned home.

Since then, the handlers and their K-9s have continued the training process in preparation for full deployment.  During this time, the handlers and their K-9s have visited numerous patrol shifts in order to familiarize the dogs with their new surroundings, as well as to educate the officers as to the dogs’ abilities. In November, Senior Officer Preiss and his dog “Kimbo” attained additional certification from the National Narcotics Detector Dog Association. “LaRoy” is on track to attain his certification in the near future.

The K-9 Unit will begin full operations this Friday evening.  Hours of operation are Friday through Monday from approximately 5:00 PM to 3:00 AM, peak hours for criminal activity.  One K-9 Team will be assigned to the city’s Southside, while the other will patrol the West and North side.  Both teams will be available for “call-outs” when needed.

About the Supervisors:

Lt. Donald Moore is an eleven year veteran of the Corpus Christi Police Department.  He has served in the Uniform Patrol Division, Training Division and as a member of the SWAT Team. He was promoted to Lieutenant in January of 2011.

Lt. Anthony Sanders is a ten-year veteran of the Police Department and has served exclusively in the Uniform Patrol Division. Lt. Sanders served ten years in the United States Navy prior to joining the force. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2008.

About the Handlers and their K-9 partners:

Lt. Sanders, Sr. Off Preiss, "Kimbo"
Lt. A. Sanders, Sr. Officer L. Preiss, and "Kimbo"

Sr. Officer Lee Preiss was a Nueces County Sheriff’s Deputy for seven years before joining the Corpus Christi Police Department in 2000.  He has served in the Uniform Division, Narcotics/Vice Division, Gang Unit and on the FBI Safe Streets Gang Task Force. Preiss served nine years in the United States Air Force as a K-9 handler prior to beginning his career in local law enforcement.  His partner, “Kimbo” is a three year-old German Shepherd that weighs in at 72 pounds with unending energy that Preiss describes as extremely social with both animals and people.

Sr. Off. Lavastida, Lt. Moore, "LaRoy"
Sr. Officer Lavastida, Lt. D. Moore, and "LaRoy"

Sr. Officer Jason Lavastida is an eleven year veteran of the Corpus Christi Police Department who has served in the Uniform Patrol Division as a patrol officer and as a member of the SWAT Team for approximately five years.   Prior to his selection as a handler, Lavastida served in the Training Division as a physical fitness instructor.  His partner, “LaRoy” is a three year-old Belgian Malinois, who also weighs in at approximately 72 lbs.  “LaRoy” is extremely energetic, says Lavasitda, who enjoys taking him on 3 mile runs.

Both K-9s were born in Holland from extremely strong bloodlines and take their commands in Dutch.

Patrol K-9 facts

K-9 handlers keep their K-9 partners at their homes in kennels provided by the police department.

K-9 handlers and their K-9 partners are required to train at least four hours per week and an additional four-hour block each month.

K-9 handlers are compensated for the care, feeding and grooming of their K-9 partners.

K-9 handlers and supervisors must keep extensive and accurate training records.

K-9s and their handlers must maintain certifications in order to be deployed.

K-9s or K-9 handlers who cannot maintain certification will be removed from service.

K-9 Supervisors and K-9 handlers are provided with specially equipped Chevy Tahoe patrol vehicles.

The Canine Unit vehicles are fully marked and equipped with the following:

  1. Automatic temperature control gauge, cooling system and emergency notification system with window opening mechanism.
  2. Commercial Transport Insert System for Canine Units.
  3. Front and rear emergency lights and siren

To see a video of the K-9 unit in action, click on the following link: