Texas Officer Dies From Sept. 25 Attack Injuries

Oct. 05 -- El Paso Police Officer Jonathan Molina, 29, died this morning from injuries received in a beating after he confronted a youth last month who allegedly vandalized the off-duty officer's car.

The suspect, Juan Antonio Gonzalez,17, is now charged with capital murder and is being held in the El Paso County Jail on a $5 million bond.

Molina reportedly observed three males, at least one of whom scratched his car with a key on Sept. 25. Molina approached the group and identified himself as a police officer before he was attacked, police said.

The officer was knocked unconscious when his head hit the ground and then was beaten, police said. He suffered a fractured skull and internal head injuries in the attack and was transported to University Medical Center.

Molina, a Marine, had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, police said.

"It is with a sad heart today that the El Paso Police Department is notifying you of the death of Officer Jonathan Molina," said Police Chief Greg Allen, who paused to control his emotions. "Officer Molina will be sorely missed."

Chris Roberts may be reached at chrisr@elpasotimes.com; 546-6136.

Copyright 2012 - El Paso Times, Texas

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