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Winchester Residents Narrowly Escape Shooting


On July 6, 2009 at approximately 12:14 am, deputies were dispatched to a residence in Winchester in regards to shots being fired in that home. When deputies arrived they spoke to Gerardo Ballon. Ballon is reported to have stated that Saul Garcia, age 26 and owner the restaurant El-Caporal in Dumas, came by Gerardo's home and asked Gerardo and Saul Ballon (Gerardo's brother) to go to Murphy's Store in Winchester. Murphy's Store was closed at the time.

While in the parking lot, Saul Garcia accused Gerardo of stealing money from his restaurant. During the argument, Saul Garcia is alleged to hit Gerardo twice in the head with a pistol. Garcia then drove towards the Selma area while holding the brothers at gunpoint. During this time of driving, Garcia is accused of allegedly threatening to shoot the Ballon brothers.

Garcia returned to Gerardo's house in Winchester taking both brothers into the house still at gunpoint and demanding the money that Gerardo had taken. A Roberto Alcantar was in the home when Garcia entered with the Ballon brothers. Garcia continued to demand the money. Alcantar gave Gerardo $1,200. Gerardo then gave the money to Garcia so that Garcia would not kill him. Roberto had stated that Saul Garcia then pushed Gerardo forward and tried to shoot Gerardo in the back. The gun jammed. Garcia then managed to fire a shot into the floor of the home where the bullet ricocheted and became lodged in the wall in the home. Saul Garcia fled the residence.

On July 7, Saul Garcia was picked up in Dumas by Desha County Sheriff Department and was placed in the Dumas jail. Garcia was then transported to the Drew County Detention Facility and charged with aggravated assault, robbery, and kidnapping. He was taken before a first appearance where bond was set at $40,000. There is also an immigration hold on Garcia. Garcia remains in confinement.

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