AP NEWS

Slain man saved teenage neighbor in attempted robbery

July 29, 2018

A bundle of blue flowers, white balloons and candles sat on the sidewalk Saturday afternoon of north Houston neighborhood marking the spot where a beloved neighbor and father died hours earlier.

Moyses Arreguin, a 29-year-old welder, was fatally shot late Friday several houses over from his own on West Hardy in the attempted robbery of his 16-year-old neighbor.

“He was a really close friend of mine,” said Sergio Bruno, the teen saved by Arreguin. “He was there for me.”

Bruno said he was sitting on the tailgate of his truck around 11 p.m. when he went over to Arreguin’s house to chat with him in the driveway. The teenager said when he returned to his house, two men who had been driving up and down the street got out of their vehicle, pointed a gun at his head and demanded cash.

“There was no way I was going to give it up,” Bruno said.

Bruno recalled Arreguin rushing over with a baseball bat and striking one of the suspects before telling Bruno to run inside. That was when the 29-year-old father of two was shot multiple times, Bruno said.

Police said the two suspects drove off in a dark sedan and remain at large.

The makeshift memorial occupying a slab of the sidewalk is only yards away from Bruno’s front door, where two shattered flower pots remain, damaged by bullets shot in Bruno’s direction as he escaped into his home.

Now, the lucky teenager said he feels “appreciative.”

Arreguin’s relatives and friends gathered in a circle in the living room of his home, wiping tears from their eyes. Arreguin’s younger brother, 16-year-old Arturo Cervantes, drove to Houston from Mexico in the morning when he learned of his brother’s death.

“He would always go out of his way to help others,” Cervantes said.

The teenager said Arreguin was the kind of brother who liked to mess around with him and give him “tough love.” However, his brother alway offered him advice and cared for him, Cervantes said.

“He taught me how to talk to girls,” he said.

Bruno’s mother, Cecilia Mejia, said she is devastated by the loss of Arreguin, a close family friend she described as “people friendly.”

“He saved his life and lost his,” Mejia said, crying. “He leaves a grieving wife and two young girls.”

The two families gathered for barbecues often and all of the children played together, Mejia and Bruno said. One of those barbecues was planned for Saturday evening.

A vigil will be held at 9 p.m. on the street at 19010 West Hardy Road, where Arreguin died. Mejia said her family has started a GoFundMe page for the slain neighbor’s family and will continue to find other ways to help.

“He’s now hopefully up in heaven,” Mejia said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

victoria.cheyne@chron.com

twitter.com/victoria_cheyne

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