Detective Garza’s work taking rapist off the street earns him Investigator of the Month recognition

Editorial Staff
Sgt. Charles Stavinoha poses with HPOU Investigator of the Month Jose Garza. Photo by Gary Hicks

The HPOU singled out Detective Jose Garza of the Special Victims Division, Adult Sex Crimes Unit as its Investigator of the Month in the September general membership meeting.Division Sgt. Charles Stavinoha nominated Garza and detailed the detective’s investigative expertise. He said Garza’s investigation of a sexual assault and serial window peeping suspect resulted taking a rapist off the streets.

The man’s 30-year-old female victim was attacked as she was in bed at her residence. The suspect fled through her front door. But the victim was able to supply officers with a detailed description of the rapist.

Sgt. Stavinoha explained that the suspect came back a second time, again attacking the same victim in the middle of the night. “This time the complainant confronted him and chased him out of her house,” the Sgt. said. “The complainant pursued the suspect on foot outside on the street, but lost sight of him down the road. Again, the complainant provided an excellent description of the suspect.”

On yet a third occasion, the suspect, who was infatuated with his rape victim, was caught peeping into her window. His victim acted quickly enough to frighten away her attacker, who was identified as the same peeping tom seen at the windows of other women in the same neighborhood “on numerous occasions.”

Another peeping tom victim caught the suspect in the act and chased him down the street with her taser in hand. He got away but two detectives later located and arrested him. The suspect’s physical appearance “was an almost identical match to the suspect description provided by the rape victim just two blocks away.”

The victim identified this suspect as the man who broke into her house and raped her. Detective Garza took the case to the district attorney. Charges of two counts of first-degree felony burglary with intent to commit sexual assault were filed against the individual.

“Detective Garza deserves to be commended for his hard work taking a dangerous predator off our streets,” Sgt. Stavinoha said.