The mom devised a plan to “deal with” her 19-year-old son’s rivals, officials say.
Over the past several weeks, the Argueta family had reported their Harris County, Texas home was shot up and vehicle tires slashed in an ongoing quarrel with a friend of his ex-girlfriend. They told investigators the culprit drove a black Dodge Charger.
“The car is back,” Florinda Argueta recalled her son, Joe, saying as he ran out the door Monday night.
The family was watching for the car during a stakeout with their uncle, Margarito Alcantar, who “set up” in an SUV at the end of the street, when it came to a stop sign near their home, according to court documents.
Joe Argueta said he armed himself with a baseball bat and his dad, Luis, had a pistol when they ran outside to the car, documents say.
Then his mom and uncle blocked in the driver with their vehicles. As the driver pulled into a yard to escape, Argueta told investigators he bashed the vehicle with the bat and his dad fired “numerous” shots.
The car crashed into a tree and the family members chased the driver as he fled. A Ring home surveillance camera captured part of the altercation.
“Who sent you?” Joe Argueta asked the man, documents say.
The man replied he hadn’t done anything to him.
Florinda Argueta told investigators she parked her car in the garage and took a baseball bat to the next street, where the man collapsed.
“Who sent you?” she asked as she “tapped” the man with a bat as he lay dying from a gunshot wound, documents say.
Harris County homicide detectives say nobody sent the man, now identified as 29-year-old Eddie Clark III of Katy. Clark, a neighbor who lived on an adjoining street, was “merely driving home” when he was shot to death, officials say.
Clark was driving a dark gray Dodge Challenger, not a black Dodge Charger as suspected by the family, officials say.
“Seems like a tragic case of mistaken identity,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted.
The Arguetas live in unincorporated Harris County, northwest of Houston.
All four family members are charged with murder. Only Joe Argueta was in custody Wednesday afternoon.