Sheriff's office asks Texas AG to keep affidavit about ambulance theft secret

Video: A Pharr EMS ambulance was stolen earlier this month while EMS providers were taking a patient into Mission Hospital


Mark Reagan
The Monitor

McALLEN, Texas — The alleged robbery happened in broad daylight.

The suspect drove the ambulance she allegedly stole on a public roadway and led police on a lunch-hour pursuit.

Then authorities released a dashcam video of the entire alleged episode that was published by Rio Grande Valley news outlets that circulated widely on social media.

Yet, the Hidalgo County District Attorney's Office is claiming in a request to the Texas Attorney General's Office that the affidavit for 31-year-old Isela Escobar's arrest on a charge of robbery is not in the public interest.

The DA's office filed the request on behalf of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office.

The request to the AG followed a Texas Public Information Act request from The Monitor seeking the affidavit for the incident that happened at 11:59 a.m. July 15, when authorities allege Escobar stole a Pharr EMS ambulance as paramedics were taking a patient into Mission Hospital from rural Alton.

In a news release, the city of Pharr said that when paramedics took the patient into the hospital, Escobar entered the ambulance and sped off.

Although a security guard tried to stop her, police said Escobar pushed him out of the way and within three minutes, she had taken off.

According to the release, medics contacted Mission police and provided officers with "live feedback to officers since the ambulance is equipped with an internal camera system."

Authorities took Escobar into custody after Palmview police located the ambulance, ending the pursuit at the 492 BBQ restaurant in Mission.

In the letter to the AG, civil attorneys with the DA's office claim the affidavit is not subject to public disclosure because it allegedly contains personal medical information about Escobar, who remains jailed in the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center on a $100,000 bond, jail records indicate.

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(c)2022 The Monitor (McAllen, Texas)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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