Rafael Munoz of Glen Lyon was led into a courtroom in Hazle Township Friday night where he was charged with retail theft and being a fugitive from justice.
Wilkes-Barre police said Munoz was spotted stealing a grill from Home Depot in the city earlier Friday. When he was arrested, police said they took his fingerprints and picture, ran them through a national database and learned Munoz is wanted for the 2002 shooting death of a man in Fort Worth, Texas.
“This is the fourth time, I came from Philadelphia to live a better life over here, and this is like the fourth, fifth time that Texas wanted me but when they took my photo, they released me. It’s a big mistake,” said Munoz on his way to jail.
He said the entire situation is a case of mistaken identity.
Munoz said he has never been to Texas. He said he lived most of his life in Philadelphia and the last four years in the Wilkes-Barre area.
Most recently, he had been living in a place on Ridge Street in Glen Lyon.
Neighbors were shocked by his arrest.
“Unfortunately, our town is changing, and we don’t know our neighbors anymore,” said John Floryshak of Glen Lyon.
“I don’t care for it at all, I’m glad they got him,” said Mike Julius of Glen Lyon.
Investigators from Texas said they will be travelling to Pennsylvania to confirm whether Munoz is indeed their suspect.
Until then, he is locked up in the Luzerne County jail on $1 million bail.
“Everytime I come in front of a judge, this comes up. I don’t understand why. I haven’t done anything to go to Texas,” said Munoz.