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Would-be robber offers Davenport police officers $1 million to not arrest him

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A Davenport man whom police say punched a woman in the face while trying to steal her purse offered arresting officers a $1 million bribe to let him go.

Ricardo Esparza, 49, is charged with second-degree robbery, a Class C felony that carries a prison sentence of 10 years, and bribery, a Class D felony that carries a prison sentence of five years.

According to the arrest affidavits filed by Davenport Police Corporals Christopher Hebbel and Gregory Lalla, at 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to the 1200 block of West 6th Street to investigate a report of a robbery.

The victim was walking west in the alley south of West 6th Street in the 1200 block when Esparza began following her.

The victim turned toward Esparza and he grabbed the straps of her purse, which was over her shoulder.

Esparza then punched the woman in the face as he was pulling on her purse. Esparza did not get the woman’s purse and police were called. The woman did not report any injuries.

Officers located Esparza a short distance from the robbery scene.

After being read his Miranda rights, Esparza was placed in the backseat of a squad car. He then offered the officers $1 million to release him and not arrest him.

Esparza told officers he could provide the money in cash or transfer the money directly to their bank accounts. When officers asked if he was trying to bribe them Esparza said that he was.

Esparza was booked into the Scott County Jail. 

During a first appearance Wednesday in Scott County District Court, Magistrate Jay Sommers set Esparza’s bond at $10,000, cash only, and scheduled a preliminary hearing in the case for May 27.



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