LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Gabriel Delgadillo, the Las Vegas Shuttles manager who called 911 to report that escaped inmate Porfirio Duarte-Herrera was ready to board a bus to Mexico, was hesitant to make that phone call.
“He’s been so natural, though … I was very afraid to just call,” Delgadillo told the 911 dispatcher in an audio exchange released Friday by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. Delgadillo intimated in the call, 8:36 minutes long, that if the passenger wasn’t the escaped inmate he could be causing him unnecessary trouble.
“No, no, you did fine,” the dispatcher tells Delgadillo. ” … Even if you don’t, you can’t confirm it. The officers can take care of that. But it’s better to be safe than sorry, you know.”
Delgadillo’s phone call led to the apprehension of Duarte-Herrera at about 9:30 p.m., a little more than five minutes after the emergency call was made. Metro officers nabbed the escaped inmate from the Southern Desert Correctional Center in Indian Springs as he was preparing to board a bus to Tijuana outside the shuttle service at 1404 N. Eastern Ave.
Duarte-Herrera was convicted of murder and received a life sentence in the 2007 bombing in the Luxor parking lot that killed Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio, 27, a casino hot dog stand worker.
Delgadillo said in the 911 call a female dispatcher at the shuttle service thought a man who gave her an identification of Eric Martinez looked like the escaped inmate. Earlier that day, police visited the service to see if anyone looking like Duarte-Herrera had been there, he said. That search came up empty, but the officers left a photograph of the escaped inmate.
Delgadillo says in the call that his dispatcher called him after Duarte-Herrera bought a ticket for Tijuana on a bus leaving at 10 p.m.
“She told me, ‘I am not sure if I am tripping or confused, but this guy that checked in with the name Eric Martinez is kind of similar to the guy in the picture,’ ” Delgadillo says. “He’s wearing a hat, but we can’t tell just by looking at the camera remotely.”
The 911 dispatcher asks Delgadillo if Duarte-Herrera is “on the property right now.”
He replies that he’s in the lobby, but when he looks Duarte-Herrera is outside. Video surveillance at the shuttle service shows him near the bus, Delgadillo eventually tells the dispatcher. “Yeah, the driver’s just right now like checking his ticket …”
In the call, he also describes the clothes Duarte-Herrera is wearing, his height “about 5-4” and hair color.
At the 5:36 mark of the call, Delgadillo tells the dispatcher officers have arrived. “I see an officer right now approaching.”
About two minutes later, he says the officers have him. “They’re taking him right now.”