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Central Texas officers track down parolee who cut off ankle monitor

A two-day search for a parolee who cut off his ankle monitor ended after a short chase and a...
A two-day search for a parolee who cut off his ankle monitor ended after a short chase and a 90-minute search Tuesday in Waco. (File)(KWTX)
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 3:31 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A two-day search for a parolee who cut off his ankle monitor ended after a short chase and a 90-minute search Tuesday in Waco.

Officers started looking for Michael Garza, 33, on Monday after learning he had removed the ankle monitor, Waco police spokeswoman Cierra Shipley said.

Garza, who is on parole for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, managed to elude police overnight, but Tuesday morning officers spotted Garza in a vehicle and gave chase, Shipley said.

During the short pursuit, a gun was thrown from the window of Garza’s vehicle, she said.

At around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, officers received a report of an abandoned vehicle in the 3800 block of Austin Avenue.

They determined the vehicle was connected to Garza, and recovered a second gun.

Waco SWAT officers were called into assist and police set up a perimeter in the area where they believed Garza was hiding.

Witnesses, meanwhile, saw a second man and a woman walking away from the abandoned vehicle, Shipley said.

The two walked toward where officers were believed to be hiding, she said.

After a 90-minute search, Garza was found near the 4100 block of West Waco Drive.

Officers also arrested Fermin Cruz, Jr., 25 and Samantha Ristich, 24, on unrelated warrants, Shipley said.

Garza was in the McLennan County Jail Tuesday afternoon, facing a list of charges including evading arrest, unlawful possession of a firearm and tampering with evidence.

He’s also held on the parole violation.

Ristch was jailed on outstanding traffic warrants charging expired license plate, no drivers license and no liability insurance.

Cruz did not appear on the jail’s online roster Tuesday afternoon.

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