A man was arrested in the early morning hours today in Cayey suspect in the murder of George Steven Lopez Mercado, the 19-year-old was brutally decapitated, dismembered and partially burned in an apparent hate crime for homophobia.
The Agent Headquarters Pereira confirmed that a subject was arrested and seized two vehicles for research. He informed he would be transferred to CIC Guayama morning today for questioning. Sources of First Time reported yesterday that a 28 year old male was suspected of murdering Steven Lopez Jorge Mercado.
The information is provided by sources close to the murdered teenager. The spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Puerto Rico, Harry Rodriguez said yesterday that the federal agency would monitor the investigation of the crime. “The FBI is monitoring this investigation with the Police of Puerto Rico because there are federal statutes under the laws of civil rights violations covered by hate crimes,” Rodriguez said early in reference to the newly adopted Law for Preventing Hate Crimes signed in October that President Barack Obama.
The adoption of this statute provides federal resources to state and local agencies with the necessary tools to prosecute hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, gender, national origin and disability. Rodriguez added that at the request of the Police of Puerto Rico, the FBI may also provide assistance for any evidence of expertise to be carried out concerning the case. “The FBI is in the greater willingness to provide any assistance or resources in this research as a technical examination by the FBI laboratory, among other things, if requested by the police,” he said. Some of the forensic procedures carried out at the FBI laboratories include DNA tests and hair and fiber tests. In addition, the Director of Criminal Investigation Corps of Guayama, Eliezer Colon, said the inquiry was at the investigation. “We’re just interviewing people and gathering evidence,” the commander said yesterday about the inquiry conducted by a team of “best researchers”, including the officer Angel Rodriguez, who has fallen against many criticisms for making homophobic comments to a news television.
“These people when they get to this and are on the street know that this can happen,” were the words that the investigating officer did to Las Noticias Univision. Among those who expressed their discomfort at the comments highlighted the lawyer Vance Thomas, Executive Director of the Civil Rights Commission, who urged the Police Superintendent Jose Figueroa Sancha, to make administrative charges against the officer. “In addition to out of the research (Rodriguez Colon), you must file administrative charges. I know of no context in which they can justify that a person sought to be killed,” said Thomas. He said he will ask the attorney general, Antonio Sagardía, to reactivate a committee that was established in 2008 to prosecute hate crimes. Meanwhile, the police superintendent dismissed the case saying that he heard the officer but for any reason any of his officers “can make homophobic expressions.
Meanwhile, police regional director of Guayama, Hector Agosto, said Rodriguez’s words were misrepresented and that the intent of this “was not at any time disparage the gay and lesbian class. “In fact they are giving 100% to solving the case,” he said. Below the fold, remarks from CNN iPhone reporter Christopher Pagan and The Task Force’s Pedro Serrano on the news of the arrest, both of whom sent emails to the Blend this morning. ……..