Who is kidnapping suspect Damian Ray Villarreal and why do many of you recognize his name?


Image of Damian Ray Villarreal from Lubbock Co. Detention Center

LUBBOCK, Texas — Damian Ray Villarreal, 25, and Dakota Noel Valderas, 23, were arrested in Arizona for an aggravated kidnapping charge in Lubbock. Presumably, Lubbock officials will make arrangements to have Villarreal and Valderas brought back to Lubbock.

Valderas, as far as we can see in court records, had no previous criminal history in Lubbock. Not so with Villarreal.

Most notably, Villarreal was charged and arrested for the violent robbery of Picantes Mexican Restaurant, 3814 34th Street, in January 2017.

Image of Damian Ray Villarreal (2017 arrest) from Lubbock Co. Detention Center

A police report said suspects including Villarreal came into the restaurant with a handgun and ordered everyone to get on the ground. The police report said one of the suspects held a gun sideways in someone’s face during the robbery.

One victim was so scared and crying so hard that she couldn’t even talk to police after the robbery. Police located Villarreal after the fact. Officers talked and he admitted that he and two others robbed the restaurant. Villarreal told police that it was one of the other suspects who used the gun.

Court records said the suspects gathered all the employees into one particular area. They also went person-to-person among the customers robbing them of items and putting the stolen property in a bag.

Villarreal was arrested on February 7, 2017 and he was able to post bond and go free from jail on March 13, 2019.

His lawyer, Sara M. Johnson, argued he was illegally restrained by an excessive and oppressive bond. The day before his release, State District Court Judge William R. Eichman reduced Villarreal’s bond from $100,000 to $15,000, according to court records.

On November 18, 2019, prosecutors requested his bond be revoked – saying he violated eight separate conditions of his release including the proper use of a GPS monitor.

On November 16, 2019, Villarreal was arrested and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was able to post bonds totaling $9,000 to get out of jail that same day. The case is still pending in court records.

Also in November 2019, a Dezarey Marie Ramos, 22, was arrested for the drive-by shooting of a 6-year-old boy. Ramos told police she had been robbed, and she believed a man named Damian Villarreal who lived in the 5000 block of 38th Street was responsible for the robbery.

Court records said Ramos worked with someone else in the drive-by shooting. As of Friday, Ramos was still held in the Lubbock County Detention Center.

Related Links:

Lubbock Police arrest 2 suspects for aggravated kidnapping

Warrant reveals how badly victim was hurt in kidnapping “for almost 24 hours straight”

Man Arrested in Connection to Armed Robbery at Picantes

One Suspect Caught, Two on the Loose After Picantes Robbery

Lubbock woman arrested for the shooting of a 6-year-old boy

In November 2015, Villarreal was arrested for possession of a small quantity of marijuana. He was found guilty and ordered to spend 20 days in jail.

In July 2015, Villarreal was arrested for possession of a small quantity of marijuana. He was found guilty and ordered to serve 5 days in jail.

In April 2015, Villarreal was subject to a temporary restraining order. He was under a court order to not commit acts of domestic violence against the mother of his child.

In July 2014, Villarreal was arrested for having a false ID. According to a police report, Villarreal told an officer his name was Vincent Tobias. He was found guilty and ordered to serve five days in jail.

In a 2012 case, Villarreal was found guilty of evading police and ordered to serve 10 days in jail and pay a fine.

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