Suspects nabbed in Mexico


Ariel Lindsay Garis, 22, left, and Jerry Charles Rodriguez, 21, are shown here in detention in Mexico, were taken into custody Tuesday by Mexican authorities.

Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, June 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 at 10:58 p.m.
It's uncertain when they'll return to state
A man and woman wanted for attempted murder in Gainesville were being held Wednesday in Mexico where officers identified them as fugitives after one had called police for help.
Jerry Charles Rodriguez, 21, and Ariel Lindsay Garis, 22, are wanted for attempted murder and robbery in connection with an attack on a Chiefland man at a Gainesville hotel in April, according to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.
A maid discovered John Edward Curtis, 36, in his room at the Red Roof Inn, 3500 SW 42nd St., on April 20. The unconscious man's feet were bound with a pillowcase. He had been beaten and had severe head injuries.
Curtis remained hospitalized this week with life-threatening injuries, Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Steve Maynard said.
Deputies arrested Ashley D. Chaganis, 21, soon after the attack and obtained arrest warrants for Garis, Rodriguez and Central Florida resident David Nieves, 37. Investigators believe robbery was the motive behind the assault. Curtis was supposed to have had money, drugs and jewelry with him at the hotel, according to court records.
Nieves has not been located. But officers in Jalisco, Mexico, detained Rodriguez and Garis on Tuesday after Garis called police. The two American residents had been involved in a fight, and Garis accused Rodriguez of beating her.
Officers in the Mexican state, located on the country's central western coast, became suspicious when Garis didn't want them to contact U.S. officials, as is normal protocol. After more questioning, Garis admitted to Mexican authorities that she and Rodriguez had fled to Mexico after committing a crime in Florida, officials in Mexico reported.
Garis also told officials in Mexico that Rodriguez had beaten Curtis on the head with a gun until he lost consciousness. Rodriguez denied Garis' allegations.
Garis had jewelry with her that Mexican officials believe could belong to Curtis, including two bracelets, 10 gold rings and a necklace.
The pair will be turned over to immigration officials because they are illegally in the country. Garis is from Gainesville and Rodriguez has a New York address, according to Mexican officials.
Maynard said he didn't know when the two would be returned to Florida to face charges, but said the U.S. Marshal's Office is assisting in bringing the pair back to the United States.
Lise Fisher can be reached at (352) 374-5092 or fisherl@gvillesun.com.

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