Man arrested in Guayaquil bombing was awaiting trial for armed robbery and attempted murder
“Why was this man not in jail?” was the question Guayaquil Police Commander Víctor Zárate asked Wednesday following the arrest of Darío Arturo S. for Sunday’s Cristo del Consuelo bombing that killed five and injured 17. “He had seven cases pending against him, including robbery with a firearm and attempted murder and he was wearing an electronic ankle shackle,” he said. “What court allowed him to be on the street?”
Darío Arturo S. was arrested in a Tuesday morning police raid and admitted taking part in the bombing. According to Zárate, the ankle bracelet GPS record place Darío Arturo S. at the scene of the bombing and cell phone recordings verify that he was involved in planning the attack.
Eyewitnesses say that two men on motorcycle rode through the Cristo del Consuelo barrio early Sunday morning, firing pistol shots into a bar before dropping a bag that contained the bomb. The bomb detonated a few seconds later. In addition to the dead and injured, the explosion damaged a dozen houses and destroyed several cars.
Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo, who heads the National Police, also expressed anger that Darío Arturo S. was free to commit more crimes. “Why in the hell was this man at liberty?” Carrillo asked on his Twitter account. “He had been arrested at least seven times and is known to be a member of a crime gang. It is an outrage to the community that someone awaiting trial for attempted murder was not locked up.”
Carrillo added that Darío Arturo S. is currently being held in a Guayaquil jail. “He will not being going free anytime soon.”
In the raid that resulted in Darío Arturo S.’s arrest, police seized weapons, explosives, detonators, gasoline tanks and stolen property including motorcycles and cell phones.
Darío Arturo S., who is known by the alias of Morado, is a member of the Los Águilas criminal gang, according to police. “He was arrested in April for the attempted murder of seven people in Portete but released afterward with the ankle bracelet,” Zárate said. “I have no explanation of why he was not put into pretrial detention since it appears now that he was involved in other crimes prior to Sunday’s bombing.”
In addition to his confession, Zárate said that prosecutors have the evidence necessary to convict Darío Arturo S. of at least four crimes, including murder.
Tuesday morning’s police raids also resulted in four other arrests besides Darío Arturo S. “We are currently reviewing evidence against the other suspects and expect at least two of them to be charged in connection to Cristo del Consuelo,” Zárate said.