CARROLLTON (CBS11) – Arnold Pinilla called for a ride sharing service to get home safely from a Carrollton restaurant in the early morning hours of July 31.
But, the 34-year-old who loved soccer and family gatherings was later stabbed to death in the street after getting into a car that was driven by an imposter.
“He was a really sweet guy, really happy,” said his mother, Esperanza Balzguera, while wiping away tears as she faced reporters in the family’s Garland home. “He loved to get together.”
As detectives released surveillance video Wednesday of the suspect’s vehicle and a sketch, the family is pleading for someone who recognizes him to come forward.
“He [the suspect] needs to pay for what he did,” said his sister Claudia Reyes, interpreting for her mother. “She knows that nothing will bring her son back; but, he needs to pay for what he did.”
Relatives insist that the man could not have been anyone that Pinilla knew– as he was a fun-loving, likable person who never got into fights– and was more likely to be seen exchanging hugs and good times instead of disagreements.
“He was the soul of everything,” said Reyes, “always very uplifting.”
According to Carrollton Police, when Pinilla and his girlfriend climbed into the car they quickly realized something was wrong.
“Inside the vehicle, it didn’t look like a ride share car should look. The driver’s behavior wasn’t what it should have been for a professional ride share service. It wasn’t long before they realized they needed to get out of that vehicle,” said Jolene DeVito, Carrollton Police Spokesperson, “unfortunately, it still ended in Arnold’s death.”
Carrollton Police are urging ride share customers to confirm the identities of drivers when using the services but, want to clarify that the driver called to the scene was not involved.
“This was not a LYFT driver, this was not an UBER driver,” said DeVito, “this was someone taking advantage of someone trying to do the right and using a ride service. The real LYFT driver came along shortly thereafter.”
Police say the couple was not robbed- but, the man asked for payment before arguing with Pinilla and fatally stabbing it. Pinilla later died in the street near Myers and Belt Line.
Surveillance cameras positioned nearby captured images of the white four door sedan. The car has a sunroof and tan interior. The suspect is described as a Hispanic man in his mid-30s with a “skinny” build, standing between 5’3″-5″6″. He spoke Spanish; but, with what has been described as a “coastal accent”, perhaps suggesting that he’s a native of Puerto Rico or Cuba.
Meanwhile, the community is being warned.
“He’s willing to kill, so I’d say that he’s pretty dangerous,” said DeVito, “and I’d say we need to find him.”
“We don’t know if he’s done this before… we don’t know if he will do it again,” said Reyes. “If you see him call authorities, because he’s a threat: to all your sons and daughters.”
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