Texas woman Heather Coglaiti, 33, was killed by her ex-boyfriend only hours after going to police to report threats he had made against her. Officers in the Corpus Christi Police Department claim they took every step possible under state and federal law to protect Coglaiti.
Coglaiti went to the CCPD to report that her ex-boyfriend Jose Calderon had threatened to hurt her and had slashed her car tires. Calderon called her while she was at the office and he agreed to join her to tell the police his perspective.
Police interviewed Calderon, who wrote off Coglaiti’s worries, saying: “We’ve done this a lot through the whole two years. We go back and forth, we’ll fight like this and she knows I won’t punch her but she punches the hell out of me in the face and she’ll bite, do whatever.”
Calderon also denied ever threatening Coglaiti, even though police records show he threatened her seven times in the past month - including death threats.
“Never do I ever threaten this lady," he said in the interview. "Never. I don’t know why she says this and that.”
“She likes playing the little mind games too," he also told police. "She’s not quite as innocent as she makes it out to be.”
Police interviewed Calderon for 37 minutes and then let him leave the station.
Sixteen hours later, Calderon shot Coglaiti to death before committing suicide.
Captain Hollis Bowers of the CCPD Criminal Investigative Division explained why police were not able to help Coglaiti in any other way.
“The law not only gives us authority, but it restricts our authority so the system works in a very methodical way," he said. "Victims need to understand that when start to suggest that you leave your home or your job, it’s for immediate safety, not because the legal system needs that.”
He also added that this case had no proof of past violence.
“So a protective order can’t be — criminal mischief, for instance, will not reach a level where somebody can get a protective order," Hollis explained. "It requires violence at a certain level. It is issued by a judge.”
He concluded by saying, “If there’s no arrest made, there’s no arrest for violence made then it wouldn’t meet the criteria.”