The driver who police say crashed his car into a group of migrants outside a Brownsville, Texas, shelter on Sunday, killing eight, was “obviously intoxicated” when officers arrived and said in Spanish, “They got in my way,” according to the arrest report obtained by CNN.
George Alvarez, 34, has been charged with eight counts of manslaughter and 10 counts of aggravated assault and remains in custody on a $3.6 million bond, according to police.
Alvarez ran a red light and lost control of his Range Rover on May 7, hitting 18 people, Brownsville police said. He then tried to flee the scene before he was detained by bystanders, police said last weekend.
“When I got close to Alvarez, I was able to see that he was obviously intoxicated,” the arresting officer wrote in the report. “He had droopy, watery eyes and had a look of fatigue on his face. He was also in a state of excitement and was verbally engaging with the bystanders nearby who were hostile toward him.”
In the report the officer wrote that he heard Alvarez say “se me atravesaron” in Spanish, which means, “They got in my way.”
Security camera footage “shows that the suspect vehicle was already rolling over onto its left side as it struck the victims,” the arrest report says.
According to the report, results from Valley Regional Medical Center showed Alvarez tested positive for marijuana, cocaine, and benzodiazepines.
CNN has not been able to reach an attorney for Alvarez.
The Brownsville Police Department says it still doesn’t know if Alvarez acted intentionally.
Brownsville police spokesperson Martin Sandoval says while they haven’t been able to rule it out, “We haven’t shown that specific part of the investigation any favor at this time.”
“The suspect is still not cooperating with us. That’s well within his rights,” Sandoval said. “The course of the investigation has not changed. We are still looking at those three threads of the investigation, accidental, intoxication or intentional.”
Police are waiting on the consulate of Venezuela to let them identity its citizens so they can release the names of the victims.
Seven people remain hospitalized, Sandoval said.
The fatal crash came as Brownsville and other border towns braced for a migrant surge before the public health emergency measure known as Title 42 lapsed late Thursday.
The crash happened across the street from the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center, a non-profit homeless shelter helping to house migrants, authorities say. The director of the Ozanam Center, Victor Maldonado, described those killed and injured as asylum-seekers.
“They came seeking refuge,” Maldonado said. “They were staying at our shelter because they arrived in this country with very little.”