August 14, 2008 - 6:51PM
Edgar Lucero Lozano is arraigned Thursday afternoon on a charge of attempted murder. San Juan Municipal Judge Ricardo Perez set a bond of $1 million.
SAN JUAN - Officers arrested a Reynosa man Wednesday on suspicion of shooting his friend last year during a drunken argument.
Edgar Lucero Lozano, 30, had been on the run since Sept. 7, when police say he shot Juan Cerda in the chest and leg five times.
Lucero and Cerda, 42, had been drinking and fighting at the Sheboygan Bar, near the intersection of Minnesota and "I" roads in Lopezville, according to authorities.
Lucero then followed Cerda to his house near the intersection of "I" Road and Border Breeze Street, where the drunken brawl escalated and ended in Cerda's shooting, said San Juan police Investigator Rolando Garcia.
Lucero had been on the run until Wednesday, when Garcia and fellow police officers caught a lead that the Mexican national's car was in Pharr, where they later caught up with him and arrested him at gunpoint.
He told police he had indeed shot Cerda but did so in self defense, Garcia said. Lucero claimed to have been on the run for fear he would not receive a fair trial, given that he was illegally in the United States, Garcia said.
But officers question the man's claims, noting police found a fake Mexican driver's license and fake vehicle registration card that Lucero apparently used to conceal his identity.
"He knew what he was doing and was out and about, trying not to get caught," Garcia said.
During a Thursday afternoon arraignment, Lucero stood without handcuffs before San Juan Municipal Judge Ricardo Perez, who charged him with attempted murder, a second-degree felony, and set his bond at $1 million. If convicted, Lucero faces up to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
Cerda, also a Mexican national who was illegally living in the United States at the time of the shooting, took months to recover from his gunshot wounds, Garcia said. He is now back in Mexico, Garcia said.
The shooting isn't the only violent incident to have taken place at the Sheboygan Bar in the past year. A fatal stabbing in July outside the bar led to murder charges against three men. Those cases are still pending.
Jared Taylor covers law enforcement and general assignments for The Monitor. You can reach him at (956) 683-4439.