SWAT takes sleeping gang member into custody after vehicle catches fire

A documented gang member is in custody after he was found asleep in his vehicle in San Marcos. Police say the back seat of his vehicle caught fire during the SWAT call.

Derek Arredondo, 32, faces warrants for felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful carry of a weapon.

San Marcos police say officers responded to a call for an unconscious driver in a vehicle stopped at the intersection of Guadalupe Street and the I-35 access road Tuesday night. Officers ran the license plate which returned as belonging to Arredondo. The person sleeping in the car was identified as Arredondo by the prominent scar on his face.

Arredondo was asleep with his foot on the brake and narcotics and a weapon were seen in the front seat next to him. 


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“Arredondo is a convicted felon who has been involved in multiple violent offenses and is a documented gang member," interim police chief Bob Klett said in a release. "Due to his background and the weapon in plain view, the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team and Hays County Crisis Negotiations Team were activated as a safer option to take him into custody.”

Officers attempted to wake Arredondo with lights, sirens, and bumping the vehicle, but he was still unconscious. Law enforcement and his family also tried to call him, but he didn't respond to that either. San Marcos police say it was then that SWAT was allowed to take Arredondo into custody.

During the attempted arrest, the back seat caught fire after a diversionary device was deployed, which San Marcos police says is unusual. SWAT operators pulled Arredondo out of the vehicle after a violent struggle where he sustained burns as he fought to get back in the car.

Arredondo was transported to an area hospital for treatment. 

No other information was available.