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Cape Coral shooting suspect dreaded jail time

Girlfriend thought she would die during escape

Apr. 18, 2011


Yousel Lopez Rivera’s girlfriend begged for her life, yelling for him to stop the car.
But Rivera, the Cape Coral man accused of shooting a Cape police officer Saturday morning, kept driving until he slammed the Cadillac into the side of a house.

Rivera ran from police, stripped off his clothes and hid in a plastic garbage container. Rivera had been to jail before and — according to reports and statements detailed in the investigation — he wasn’t returning.

“I’m not going back!” he said to his girlfriend, Anaidis Portillo, 17, according to police.

A look at social networking sites by The News-Press indicates Rivera, a documented member of the street gang Krazy Getdown Boys who has been charged several times with marijuana possession, seems preoccupied with money and shows disdain for law enforcement.

In one post on his Facebook profile, sent from his phone at the courthouse in February, Rivera complained about his situation and, referring to police, stated, “without that badge (sic) your a bitch n a half.”

Rivera, 20, was found and arrested about two hours after he allegedly shot Cape Coral police Officer David Wagoner during a traffic stop for an expired tag, his trail of purple clothing leading police to the trash can. Rivera even tried to hit a police dog, according to reports, but lost that fight.

While in the police car, Rivera tried to wedge his head between the seat cushions, reports said.

He was charged with attempted first-degree murder of a police officer. Wagoner remains in Lee Memorial Hospital, but is expected to make a full recovery.

But the man who allegedly fired three shots at Wagoner at close range — the final one going under the officer’s bullet proof vest and into his abdomen — during a routine traffic stop Saturday, appears obsessed with money. His Facebook profile lists his only activity as “MAKING MONEY” and his favorite quote as “GET MONEY.”

But on the police report he listed his occupation as “none.”

Rivera’s tattoos include a 6-point star, one of the symbols of the gang KGB. He also sports tattoos that read: “Cuba Pride,” “Death before Dishonor” and “God Knows,” according to reports.

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Born in Cuba, Rivera is a former student at North Nicholas High, a Cape charter school that provides an alternative high school for students not successful in a normal school setting. He was registered from October 2009 to February 2010.

“He did not create any instances while he was enrolled,” Principal Carolyn Taylor said.
Rivera and Portillo had been dating since early March, according to Rivera’s Facebook profile.

She was driving the car when it was pulled over by Wagoner for an expired tag.
According to police:

As Wagoner approached the driver's side window, Portillo handed him her license.
At that point, he asked Rivera for his identification.

Rivera told Wagoner he didn’t have his ID, so Wagoner went around to the passenger side to talk to him while Portillo searched for her insurance and registration.

It was then that Rivera allegedly opened fire with a silver revolver, striking Wagoner.
Rivera then jumped on top of Portillo and slammed his foot on the accelerator.

Portillo told police she was scared for her life, begging him to stop, yelling “Get off!” and “Stop!”

Then, all of a sudden, the car crashed into something, Portillo told police. She said she was knocked out and, when she regained consciousness, Rivera jumped out of the car and left her.

Residents of the house at 1138 Santa Barbara Blvd. N. tell a different story.

After the car exploded through the wall of a front bedroom, almost seriously injuring the family’s 22-year-old son sleeping inside, they went outside to find both Rivera and Portillo fleeing the scene, they said.

“She took off running with her boyfriend,” said Larry Jarvis. When Jarvis ran after them and screamed for them to return, Portillo began walking back, Jarvis said.

Once on their front porch, Portillo tried to flee again, he said.

“I told her to sit her (butt) back down,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis’ son, Mark Raposa, had tire burns from his shoulder to his elbow and was treated and released from Lee Memorial.

Portillo has not been charged in the incident and did not receive a traffic citation.

(Page 3 of 3)

A woman who identified herself as Portillo’s mother declined comment Monday. A man who said he was Rivera’s stepfather declined comment at the family’s home Monday.

Rivera also fled the scene of an accident in May 2009. Police said Rivera struck another vehicle and didn’t stop. A witness followed Rivera to his home, where he pulled into the driveway and closed the garage before calling police, 40 minutes after the crash.

Rivera had been released from jail in November after about two months in custody for a slew of charges, including marijuana possession and criminal mischief. On the police shooting charge, he was ordered held without bond Sunday by Judge R. Thomas Corbin.

Meanwhile, Wagoner — the first Cape officer ever shot in the line of duty — recovers in the hospital. Doctors have not told the family when he might be released.

His wife, Patty Wagoner, said the family is still focused on his recovery.

“This has been very shocking, my worst nightmare I am living out,” she said. “I am very thankful he is OK. God had a hand of protection on him.”

Patty Wagoner said she is appreciative of the support from the community, fellow officers, their church and businesses.

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