When it comes to the law, pride is a bitch. And detailing the impressive details of your crime on Facebook is one thing — the Internet is forever — but getting them permanently tattooed into your flesh, with the distinct possibility that you could one day be taking a shirtless mug shot, is almost inconceivably dumb.
Anthony Garcia may be hard…
… but he's got some work to do on his street smarts. A member of L.A. County gang Rivera-13, Garcia was only 18 when he made his first kill (presumably) in 2004: a landmark so momentous he felt the need to document it across the better part of his pectorals.
Complete, as we observe today, with an old Western-style “Rivera Kills” banner and fanged helicopter, an alleged symbol for his own bad self in the scenario:
Four years later, in 2008, the wrong person stumbled across a photo of the tattoo: Los Angeles County sheriff's homicide investigator Kevin Lloyd. Garcia was then tracked down and arrested at his La Habra home, tricked into bragging about his crime by a deputy posing as a gang member (durr) — and now faces a life behind bars for the first-degree murder of 23-year-old John Juarez on January 14, 2004.
From the LA Times:
Each key detail was right there: the Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store where 23-year-old John Juarez was gunned down, the direction his body fell, the bowed street lamp across the way and the street sign — all under the chilling banner of RIVERA KILLS, a reference to the gang Rivera-13.
As if to seal the deal, below the collarbone of the gang member known by the alias “Chopper” was a miniature helicopter raining down bullets on the scene.
The nation's newspapers are reeling over Garcia's incredible stupidity this morning.
“Having guilt written all over your face is one thing, but in the case of Pico Rivera gang member Anthony Garcia it was written all over his chest,” write the delighted punsters over at the New York Post.
And Gustavo Arellano at our O.C. sister paper brings race into the mix, per usual: ”Cholos aren't exactly the brightest bulbs in the criminal marquee, but the actions of the pendejo [pictured above] take the tamale for sheer stupidity.”
If only all cold-case criminals were so artfully empty-headed. Now that'd be a MOCA street show to get stoked on.