Officers arrest fugitive duo in Odessa
Jan 05, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Local law enforcement arrested the fugitive Friday who is accused of firing a gun at Martin County Sheriff's deputies last week, and they also arrested a woman reportedly traveling with him as he eluded authorities.
Eric Ray Perez, 25, was arrested at about 4 p.m. at an apartment in a house at 1105 N. Texas Ave after escaping authorities three times in about a week. The woman arrested at the house was Sonnie E. Kunkle, 27, who authorities said traveled with Perez throughout his alleged escapade.
Both were served with felony warrants stemming from Martin County, said Deputy U.S. Marshal Brent Sheets. But those warrants were not immediately available Friday, and the pair had not been booked in Ector County Detention Center by press time.
Officials with the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force said they learned Kunkle had lived at the Texas Avenue address, received tips about their presence in the area and then started watching the home.
Authorities spotted Perez at about 3:30 p.m., according to a news release. And Perez again tried to flee through the back of the home, authorities said.
"He ran right into the waiting arms of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force," said task force Lt. Benny Matlock. Kunkle and Perez were the only two people inside the apartment unit at the time of their arrest.
Besides Marshals, agencies involved in the arrest included the Ector County Sheriff's Office, the Midland County Sheriff's Office, the Odessa Police Department, Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Safety.
Investigators remained on scene Friday evening. And Matlock reported Odessa police were investigating narcotics discovered inside the residence, which Matlock did not identify.
On Tuesday, local law enforcement agencies canvassed the area of Highway 80 near the Midland International Airport in search of Perez, who reportedly fled on foot after a traffic stop.
The Martin County Sheriff's Department said Perez shot at deputies last week as they attempted to serve a warrant for using fraudulent identities. Additionally, authorities accuse Perez of trying to run down an officer in a stolen Chevy Camaro on Dec. 28. Police later found the car in Martin County, but Perez was gone. Perez is wanted in five West Texas counties, Matlock said.
Odessa police investigated a reported sighting of Perez at 6:18 p.m. Thursday near Kelly Grimsley Auto Group, but officers couldn't find him.
Current addresses of Perez and Kunkle were not immediately provided by law enforcement, but public records show Perez lived in Stanton when he got his driver's license, while Kunkle's driver's license shows a Midland address.
Contact Corey Paul on Twitter @OAcrime on Facebook at OA Corey Paul or call 432-333-7768.
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