Fort Worth

The final stop: Alisha Trevino’s death

Alisha Trevino, 25, died in April 2015 after overdosing on ingested meth while in the backseat of a patrol car.
Alisha Trevino, 25, died in April 2015 after overdosing on ingested meth while in the backseat of a patrol car. Courtesy

The sequence of events that led to the death of Alisha Trevino, a 25-year-old addict from Springtown.

April 15, 2015

Narcotics officers receive a tip that Alfredo Cortez and his girlfriend, Alisha Trevino, have a large amount of meth in their car and are parked at a game room off Benbrook Highway.

8:07 p.m.

At the narcotics officers’ request, gang unit officers pull over Alisha’s car in the 4300 block of Bonnie Drive. Cortex is arrested on outstanding warrants; Alisha is seated on a curb.

8:38 p.m.

With help of a drug-sniffing dog, gang officers find 250.6 grams — almost 9 ounces — of meth hidden inside the car’s engine compartment. Narcotics officers are called to the scene.

Alisha, who had asked to sit inside a patrol car because she was cold, is removed and questioned by narcotics officers. She denies that the drugs are hers and is told she is under arrest for possession of a controlled substance.

Alisha is handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car. She is watched by gang officers while narcotics officers begin interviewing Cortez.

Police discovered almost nine ounces of methamphetamine inside the engine compartment of the car Alfredo Cortez and Alisha Trevino had been driving. FWPD

9:14 p.m.

Gang officers request a female officer make the scene to search Alisha.

9:34 p.m.

Alisha vomits in the back seat of the patrol car. Gang officer D. Koplin opens the rear door, and she vomits again on the ground.

A message is sent to the responding female officer, telling her not to make the scene, as Alisha has vomited on herself. They indicate they’ll have Alisha searched at the jail.

9:35 p.m.

Alisha complains she cannot breathe. Gang officer J.S. Hinz opens the car windows and holds her door open but closes the door again after she repeatedly tries to get out.

Alisha begins shaking and convulsing, telling officer D. Koplin she is having a seizure.

Gang officers repeatedly ask Alisha if she has ingested narcotics but she says no. When asked if she wants an ambulance, they say she replied no or didn’t answer.

9:47 p.m.

Gang officer T. Hauck confers with narcotics Sgt. S. LaCroix about whether an ambulance should be called for Alisha. Both agree they believe she is faking.

Alfredo Cortez Fort Worth Police Department

After admitting to police the drugs are his, Cortez is granted permission to talk to Alisha before going to jail. He tells investigators he finds her lying in the patrol car, her jaw clenched and foaming at the mouth.

Gang officers say Alisha is breathing but not responding when they tell her she is free to go.

10:30 p.m.

Officer Koplin requests an ambulance be dispatched to the location on a “slow roll, no FD (fire department), for a female complaining of breathing issues.”

10:39 p.m.

Koplin asks dispatchers if an ambulance has been dispatched.

10:45 p.m.

Medics arrive to find Alisha completely unresponsive and barely breathing. They request assistance from the fire department. On the way to the hospital, Alisha’s heart stops beating and CPR is begun.

When she arrives at John Peter Smith Hospital, Alisha is in full cardiac arrest. Staff are able to get her heart beating again, but she remains in profound shock and her condition worsens.

April 17, 2015

11:16 a.m.

Alisha dies after being removed from life support. An autopsy later reveals two pieces of plastic bag inside her stomach. Her death is ruled an accident caused by methamphetamine intoxication.

An investigation by the major case unit is begunand an internal affairs is later conducted. Ultimately, no suspensions are handed down and a Tarrant County grand jury declines to indict any of the officers involved.

March 15, 2017

Alisha’s parents file a federal lawsuit against the city, Fort Worth Police Department and seven officers — gang officers J.S. Hinz, T. Hauck, C. McAnulty, D. Koplin and narcotics officers M. McMeans, J. Garcia and S. LaCroix. They allege officers acted with malice and deliberate indifference toward Alisha when they neglected her medical needs for an extended period of time, ultimately causing her death.