By Alicia Neaves
ODESSA - An Odessa daughter claims her dad was wrongfully jailed. Her father is accused of swinging a bat at two men and stealing their stuff. She says the arrest should have been the other way around and it's hard seeing a person she knows is innocent behind a window in prison.
"He's very sad because it should be the other way around. Those other people should be in prison and not him," Leyna Collazo said.
On December 19, Jose Collazo-Medrano was arrested on charges of aggravated robbery. Police say he was swinging a bat at two men in a truck and stole boxes of electronics before taking off.
In an exclusive interview, his daughter, Leyna, paints a different story on the events leading up to the arrest. She says her father was approached at the Chase Bank off 16th and West County Road in Odessa by two men offering him a deal on electronics he couldn't resist. She claims her father bought a projector, a projector screen and two speakers as Christmas gifts for the family.
"When we turned them on, the stuff did not work. The projector won't turn on. The screen is the only thing that works because you just pull it down," Collazo said.
A couple of days later, she says, her father went to Chase Bank to cash a check. In the parking lot were the same two men who sold him the electronics. She claims her father went up to them, asking them to come help install the products or simply give his money back. She says the two men agreed to follow her dad home to help.
"My dad got in his truck and they did too. On the light on 16th, my dad kept going and they turned. So what my dad did is he went and switched trucks and changed clothes. He went back to Chase and they were still there," Collazo said.
Leyna confirms her dad carried a bat with him for self defense as he knew he would be outnumbered.
"They were coming close to him and he was like, 'Don't come close to me. Follow me to my house. I'll get you your boxes, you give me my money and I'll give you the other products that do not work,'" Collazo said.
She claims her father asked the men again to follow him home to get their broken items.
"They were like, 'We can't right now because we're busy but we'll go to your house.' My dad was like, 'Ok. just to make sure you are going to go to my house, I'm gonna take two of these boxes that are right here and I know y'all will follow me.' So he did, and they did follow my dad but they followed him with the cops," Collazo said.
She says about six police cars followed.
Now, as Jose Collazo-Medrano sits behind bars, Leyna is hoping no one falls victim to this scam and that the responsible parties man up and turn themselves in.
"Take responsibility. There is a guy in prison right now. He spent Christmas, New Years, all holidays there and it's not even his fault," Collazo said.
Leyna says from now on, they'll buy from a credible store. That way, they'll have a receipt.