Eddie Clark Houston Texas man shot dead in case of mistaken identity by Joe Argueta Hilton Hollow teen & three other family members in vigilante shooting of purported serial vandal.
Taking the law into your own hands… A 19 year old Texas teenager, his mom, dad and uncle have been charged with murder in an alleged vigilante shooting which involved the family gunning down their neighbor after mistaking the victim for a vandal who’d repeatedly targeted their property.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office alleged that Clark was shot by Joe Anthony Argueta, who lives in the same subdivision. Video footage showed Clark’s Dodge Challenger trying to drive off after being boxed in, with a figure police say is Eddie firing shots at the sports car, which smashed into a tree moments later.
The teen’s mother, Florinda Argueta, 39, allegedly told investigators someone had been damaging their home and vehicles, and that they suspected a teenage friend of her son’s ex-girlfriend was responsible. Florinda, who has also been charged with murder said her son suspected the purported vandal might be driving a black Dodge Charger – a different color and model to the car Clark was in.
Argueta’s father Luis Argueta, 45, and his uncle Margarito Alcantar, 29, were also charged with Clark’s murder. The two men are wanted fugitives after going on the run.
‘Tragic case of mistaken identity’
About 11:30pm Monday, Joe Argueta, 19, and his family spotted what they thought was the suspected vehicle and tried to block its path, with one family member armed with a bat and another with a pistol, authorities said according to KHOU.
Surveillance video from a neighbor’s home showed Clark – who was driving a different Dodge model – speeding down the street while being chased on foot.
He was forced to turn his car around after cars from the Arguetas blocked his path, per deputies.
The sheriff’s office alleges Joe Argueta fired at the vehicle after it tried to drive away. Court records show that Joe Argueta admits to having a gun and firing multiple shots.
The vehicle, which was shot multiple times, went off the road and hit a tree. Clark a local truck driver, tried to flee on foot but later collapsed. He was found with a fatal gunshot wound and transported to a local hospital, where he died.
The sheriff’s office said Clark had been driving a dark gray Dodge Challenger rather than a black Dodge Charger, and investigators don’t believe he was involved in any dispute with the Argueta family according to Click 2 Houston.
‘Seems like a tragic case of mistaken identity,’ Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted on Wednesday.
‘Taking law into own hands’
At a court hearing on Wednesday, a hearing officer called out Joe Argueta for his alleged actions that night.
‘This is an example of taking the law into your own hands,’ a hearing officer said to Joe Argueta on Wednesday according to KTRK.
‘Not going through the proper authorities to resolve any other harm or destruction that was being done to your own residence or your own home. It still doesn’t justify taking the law into your own hands and mistaking the person.’
Two residents at the scene told HCSO investigators about the serial vandalism of homes and cars, according to KHOU.
Authorities charged Joe Argueta, his mother, his 45-year-old father, Luis Argueta, and his 29-year-old uncle, Margarito Alcantar, with murder.
Joe Argueta and his mother were in custody Wednesday before Joe Argueta was released on $50,000 bond. His mother’s bond was set at $20,000. The teen’s father and uncle continue to remain on the loose.