Fugitive teen murder suspect arrested

The teenage murder suspect whose Valentine’s Day escape from a juvenile detention facility on the Peninsula sparked a jail reform investigation was arrested Wednesday in Texas.

Seven months after Josue Raul Orozco fled by leaping over a wall of the Youth Services Center in the Eichler Highlands neighborhood near San Mateo, police arrested the 18-year-old in San Antonio just after 9 p.m, San Antonio police said.

Orozco was the youngest person ever charged as an adult with murder in San Mateo County when he allegedly shot and killed Redwood City resident Francisco Rodriguez, 21, in July 2005 at the age of 14. An alleged Sureño gang member, he had been using the fictitious name and birthdays of Jesus Contreras, born Dec. 27, 1989, according to authorities.

Orozco’s Feb. 14 escape came while he was awaiting trial for the homicide of Rodriguez. He allegedly used two other inmates to boost himself over a 15-foot wall, and then slipped through a hole in a fence thought to be cut by someone outside of the facility.

An investigation after the escape led to safety and structural improvements.

County officials were also held to answer to angry and frightened Eichler Highlands residents near the jail.

“This community is going to be an active part of making sure that there isn’t [another escape],” Eichler Highlands Neighborhood Association President Cary Weist said.

The arrest in San Antonio was made with information about Orozco’s whereabouts from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. After finding Orozco’s car outside a building in San Antonio, an officer walked by Orozco for a closer look at him after he exited the building, police said.

Three police units then responded and arrested Orozco without incident and booked him into jail, police said.

Officers discovered that Orozco had several active warrants from the Sheriff’s Office in Bexar County, where San Antonio is located, including a warrant for falsely identifying himself and two warrants for burglary with force, said Ino Badillo, a Bexar County sheriff’s deputy.

It is still unclear how quickly Orozco will return to the area because if he is charged in Texas, prosecutors here will have to wait for that trial to transpire before resuming their homicide case, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. If he is not charged in Texas, Orozco could return within one week, he said.

mrosenberg@sfexaminer.com

Josue Orozco timeline

July 2005: Francisco Rodriguez, 21, killed; Orozco, 14 at the time, arrested for homicide

Feb. 14: Orozco escapes from Youth Services Center

Feb. 18: Board of Supervisors calls for investigation into the escape

Feb. 19: Two 18-year-olds charged with aiding the escape from inside

June: Independent report released, outlining problems at the facility

Wednesday: Orozco arrested by San Antonio police

<p>Sources: San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department, San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocalyouth services center

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A server greets diners in a Shared Spaces outdoor dining area outside Napper Tandy’s Irish pub at 24th Street and South Van Ness Avenue in the Mission District on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. San Francisco could choose to resume outdoor dining in the wake of a state decision to lift a regional stay-at-home order. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Regional coronavirus stay-at-home orders lifted as ICU capacity improves

Change in rules could allow outdoor dining to resume in San Francisco

A statue of Florence Nightingale outside the Laguna Honda Hospital is one of only two statues of women in The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
S.F. still falling short of goal to represent women in public art

City has few streets or public facilities not named after men

Methamphetamines (Sophia Valdes/SF Weekly)
New search launched for meth sobering center site

Pandemic put project on pause but gave health officials time to plan a better facility

Hasti Jafari Jozani quarantines at her brother's San Francisco home after obtaining several clearances to study at San Francisco State University. (Photo courtesy Siavash Jafari Jozani)
Sanctions, visas, and the pandemic: One Iranian student’s bumpy path to SF State

Changing immigration rules and travel restrictions leave some overseas students in limbo

Woody LaBounty, left, and David Gallagher started the Western Neighborhoods Project which has a Balboa Street office housing historical items and comprehensive website dedicated to the history of The City’s West side. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Outside Lands podcast delves into West side’s quirky past

History buffs Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher have been sharing fun stories about the Richmond and Sunset since 1998

Most Read