In his 25 years as a police officer, the police chief of Santa Bárbara de Heredia, Douglas Sandí, told La Nacion in an interview he had never noticed a person so calm after being arresting something so serious.
“I have had to arrest countless people for multiple crimes, and always the main reaction is that they are not mentally in their place, completely gone, until the adrenaline dies down and they realize what they did”.
But on Monday, in San Pedro de Santa Bárbara, Heredia, he had an unprecedented experience in his career, when arresting the 71-year-old informal taxi driver, surnamed Cordero Vega, for allegedly using his car to chase, run down and kill a motorcyclist.
“(Cordero) was practically cold, indifferent to respect for life, as if he had run over a plastic bag,” said Sandí.
According to the police chief, after the initial impact, detainees usually take notice of what happened and enter into some degree of anxiety. That was not the case with Cordero, at least while he was under the custore of the Fuerza Publica.
“He never showed remorse, nor anxiety, absolutely nothing, he was totally calm… he did not seem to be under the influence of alcohol, his behavior left much to be desired,” he said.
Sandí commented that of what little the informal taxi driver said was: “This one died, then another one is born”.
The police chief added that the suspect, later in the evening, did suffer from blood pressure problem that required medical attention.
According to witness accounts, around 4 p.m. on Monday, a motorcyclist was miffed at Cordero for disrespecting a stop sign. After arguing, Cordero took pursuit of the motorcyclist for several blocks, until he ran into him, ran him over and killed him. The victim lay on the ground with serious trauma to the head.
Cordero also hit another car not involved argument and chase, injuring two people.
The motorcyclist is identified as Raúl Zambrana Durán, 36 years of age, married and had a two-year-old daughter.
“My legs and hands were sharing in pure tremor, but as I could I went down to help the boy, only he was already dead, there was nothing to do and the man (Cordero) was very calm,” said Silieth Ugalde Zumbado, an eye witness.
Area residents prevented Cordero from fleeing the scene. In fact, police prevented him from being lynched.
“He was impulsive and a bully”
La Nacion’s Yeryis Salas says she interviewed people who know Cordero, including fellow informal taxi drivers, who refused to say anything about him given his ‘explosive’ nature and possible retaliation from his family and friends.
“impulsive and a bully,” is how two drivers who asked not be identified described Cordero.
“He is an impulsive person, very arrogant, easily upset,” said one of them.
“He was a time bomb, a crazy guy on the street,” said the other.
According to others, in recent weeks Cordero faced family problems.
Sandí said he talked with the family after the event, who reacted with surprise to the news. “He had a bad temper, but they never expected it to go that far,” Sandí said.
Two months preventive detention
Cordero now faces charges of “homicidio simple ” (simple homicide) and has been ordered to two months of preventive detention (remand) while the Prosecutor’s Office continues investigating.
Article 111 of the Codigo Penal (Criminal Code) punishes simple homicide from twelve to eighteen years in prison.