SUGAR LAND, Texas – A suspect involved in a police chase resulting in the death of a City of Sugar Land employee has been charged with murder, according to the Sugar Land Police Department. Overeth Riascos Barahona, 40, was driving the vehicle that ran a red light and struck and killed Joseph Aponte, 56, a public works employee. The incident occurred on U.S. Highway 90A at Gillingham Lane. Barahona was released from the hospital and then arrested on the murder charge. He has a history of criminal activity, according to the SLPD.
The pursuit began after Barahona and two passengers were involved in a burglary in Missouri City. Stolen property was found inside the vehicle after the crash. The passengers are facing burglary charges, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed a detainer on Barahona, who is originally from Colombia.
In honor of Aponte, a black bar with his name will be placed on all Public Works vehicles by the City of Sugar Land to commemorate his loss and honor his legacy. He had been a first responder in the city’s Public Works Department for about a year. Mayor Joe Zimmerman expressed condolences, stating that Aponte leaves behind a wife, daughter, son-in-law, and others.
The city has offered support to Aponte’s family, including assistance with funeral expenses, food, counseling, and other benefits. Funeral services for Aponte are scheduled for February 13 at Triska Funeral Home, with visitation starting at 1 p.m. and funeral services at 2 p.m. The mayor emphasized that Aponte was a dedicated public servant who made a difference for the community every day and will not be forgotten. If anyone would like to help Aponte’s family, the city has set up a donation website.