The father of a state representative died early Saturday morning following an altercation at a local restaurant.
Chief Bryan Smith of the Corpus Christi Police Department said 59-year-old Ivan Alfonso Herrero, the father of District 34 state Rep. Abel Herrero, was with his wife at a Denny's Restaurant, located at Interstate 37 and Navigation Boulevard, at about 10:30 p.m., following a Juan Gabriel concert that had taken place in Corpus Christi.
Police said Herrero was waiting to be seated when 56-year-old Manuel Chapa Garcia entered the restaurant with his wife and allegedly tried to move to the front of the line. At that point, a verbal dispute began between the men, which ended when Garcia allegedly punched Herrero twice in the head, causing Herrero to fall and hit his head on the floor.
By the time officers and paramedics had arrived at the restaurant, Garcia had left the scene and was walking down Navigation Boulevard, Smith said, where he was apprehended by officer Stephen Cox and placed under arrest.
Herrero was conscious when paramedics arrived and he was transported to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital, Smith said, where he was pronounced dead at about 12:50 a.m. Officials with the medical examiner's office said the cause of death was blunt force head trauma, probably caused by Herrero's fall.
Garcia, who had initially been booked at the Nueces County Jail on charges of aggravated assault since Herrero was still conscious, was subsequently charged with murder, a first-degree felony.
Garcia is currently free on a $100,000 bond.