South Texas Crime Stories: Man sentenced to 65 years in prison for holding Archbishop hostage in 2000

In June of 2000, the state’s top-ranking Roman Catholic clergyman, along with his secretary were held hostage for several hours in San Antonio.

According to the Associated Press, 40-year old Nelson Antonio Escolero, an unemployed man from El Salvador, went to visit Bishop Patrick Flores.

San Antonio police say Escolero was upset with the government over his possible deportation for driving with a suspended license and he believed Flores could help him.

That’s when police say Escolero held Bishop Flores hostage in his office, threatening to kill him if he didn’t help, because “he had a lot of power.”

That standoff with police lasted for a total of nine hours.

His secretary, Myrtle Sanchez, was set free, unharmed, after about three hours.

Sanchez told police that at one point, a grenade-like device was used to threaten Flores, but it turned out to be fake.

Police say its “pin” was actually just a paper clip.

Bishop Flores was eventually released unharmed as well.

As for Escolero, he was ultimately convicted of two counts of aggravated kidnapping and sentenced to 65 years in prison.

Flores passed away at 87 years old in 2017.

He was the first Mexican-American Catholic Bishop in the country.

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