The Claudia Ordaz and Vince Perez Incident Police Dispatch Logs and Audio

As I promised you, I filed numerous open records requests with the City asking for video, audio, logs, video and any information that they have about the Claudia Ordaz and Vince Perez Whataburger Incident. Yesterday I received a response for my eight requests. I asked for the log files from the three police officers involved, as well as memorandums, videos and any other forms of communications about the incident. The documents that the City released to me included a copy of the “Information Report” documenting the incident. It also included the “Chain of Command History” log that is part of the report.

All police radio calls to the police dispatcher creates an incident number, or a “P” code. The City released a summary of the incident log sheet to me, as well. Included with the “P” log, was the chronology of events as documented by the police dispatching office.

I also received a recording of the initial call made by officer Maria Robles to dispatch asking for a supervisor. You can listen to it by clicking play.

I am including a complete copy of the documents for your review. You can download them here.

I am also going to point out some interesting details to you, as well as transcribe the radio call for you to make it easier to follow it. With the help of an El Paso police officer, who graciously provided some insight, I have also defined some important details for you. The transcription follows the explanation below.

As you listen to the radio call, you will notice that officer Robles seems nervous, or excited during the call. Two individuals who listened to the audio, one happens to be a police officer agrees with me that the officer seems nervous or excited. It turns out that the police officer seems to have caught herself in the position of not properly identifying that she was “off duty” when she was working at the Whataburger. The code “Ocean” signifies the officer is off duty. However, in order to track how many hours the work they are supposed to report the start of an off-duty shift to a supervisor. We all agreed that it is likely the reason that she seems to have garbled her call, as she tried to correct her mistake and announce that she was working off duty.

A Lincoln unit is a supervisor. The number “3” indicates that the supervisor is working the graveyard shift.

The Audio Transcription

El Paso Police officer Maria Robles: Ocean 2464

PD headquarters female voice: Ocean 2464

El Paso Police officer Maria Robles: Ocean 2464

PD headquarters female voice: Ocean 2464, go ahead

El Paso Police officer Maria Robles: Meet me out at 12140 Montwood, ma’am, ‘til 0600 hours, you have a supervisor…{garbled} that … [asking for supervisor to respond]

PD headquarters female voice: 10-4, headquarters to any Lincoln unit

Third unidentified female voice, assumed to be Detective Milner: 3 Lincoln 7 1

PD headquarters female voice: 3 Lincoln 7 1, Ocean 2464 is requesting a supervisor out to 12140 Montwood.

Third unidentified female voice, assumed to be Detective Milner: 10-4, is it going to be the Whataburger?

PD headquarters female voice: 10-4

Third unidentified female voice, assumed to be Detective Milner: 10-4, In route from the station

PD headquarters female voice: 10-4 at 2:11

Reviewing the logs, you will likely see that other officers were reported in the area. Only two police units officially responded to the scene. The other police units are a common occurrence. They were described to me as “looky looks,” or other officers that drive by and want the “chisme” as to what is going on.

The police copy of the incident also clarifies two additional details for us.

The first is that the “Blue Team” report seemed to indicate that there was a DVD of the incident. There was not. It turns out, as explained in the report, erroneously someone cut-and-pasted text in the report that seemed to indicate a DVD existed.

This brings us to the question of alcohol consumption and driving.

As you likely remember, police officer Alejandro Picardo is quoted in the report as stating that he “smelled alcohol on Vincent Perez’ [sic] breath.”

The original report did not let us know who was driving the vehicle that Corona, Ordaz and Perez were in. As the “information” made its way up the chain of command at the police department, Commander Raymond Chaires pointed out the alcohol odor and asked for clarification as to whom was driving the vehicle. Sgt. Milner, the detective, clarified that Vince Perez told her that he was driving the car. Sgt. Milner initially wrote that she did not smell alcohol on Perez while she was talking to him. Milner added that she followed up with officer Picardo, who again stated that he smelled alcohol on Perez’ breath.

Two days later, Milner clarified that she smelled alcohol on Perez’ breath.

Both she and Picardo agreed that Perez did not seem impaired or intoxicated.

Note, how Sgt. Milner, who wrote the “information” did not mention that she had also smelled alcohol on Vince Perez’ breath in the report. It wasn’t until later, after being prompted, that she finally agreed with officer Picardo that they both smelled alcohol on Perez’ breath. Officer Alejandro Picardo was consistent throughout that he smelled alcohol on Vince Perez’s breath, who acknowledged being the driver.

Finally, as you may recall, the police reports – all versions of them – identify the third individual as “Jose Corona.” Vince Perez, however told the El Paso Times on May 11, 2016 that Jose Corona is actually Jose Balaguer.

The police report, that was released to me, provides a little more clarity. It confirms the name as “Jose Corona” and provides a birth date as well as race and gender. The police officer I consulted with states that it is possible that the individual did not have any identification on them, at least that is what he may have told the officers. In that instance, the police officer would ask for the full name and the date of birth in order to run the individual through the police database. It is unclear whether police officers ran the individual for warrants.

What causes everyone I have discussed this with to pause, is that we know, through Vince Perez’ own comments through the newspaper, that the police officers asked for identification from the three individuals. Perez stated that the officers took only his, and Ordaz’ identifications, but not the third individual, who was accused of causing the disturbance the brought the officers to the scene.

That just does not make sense.

Also, look at the “information” under “Reporting/Involved Citizen Information” and you will note that Jose Corona has a birth date notated next to his name. Claudia Ordaz and Vince Perez do not have the same notation. This could mean many things; however, I find it strange that a birth date was noted for Corona. It makes even more sense when you consider that if Corona did not provide identification, then the officer would likely run him for warrants and a birth date is needed for that.

That still leaves us with having two names, Jose Corona and Jose Balaguer. Only Vince Perez and Claudia Ordaz seem to know who the individual really is.

But ask yourself, why such a confusion about who the third individual is?

One would think that police officers should know who they are dealing with, especially when the individual is the one that brought them to the scene by his own actions, which is not in dispute.

At this point we know that Vince Perez had alcohol breath and was driving late at night. We also know that an individual jumped out of Perez’ car and caused a public disturbance that caused El Paso Police Officers to respond.

It is now up to you to decide for yourself the rest of the story.

If you haven’t already, you can download the responsive documents here.