An Army veteran from Grand Prairie served two combat tours overseas, but was killed in a local bar fight three years ago. FOX 4's Heather Hays has an update on the man who punched him, who may be getting out of jail.
In March of 2011 flags flew at half-staff in memory of Spc. Orlando Salazar. He had lived through two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"That's where I was most worried. But when he was back on US soil, this is his safe haven. My worries are gone, but I was wrong," said Cesar Salazar, his father.
But early on a Saturday morning the war veteran was punched at a bar called El Toro Loco. Grand Prairie police said his head hit the concrete floor and he died.
Police arrested 27-year-old Jose Navarro, someone Salazar had known since high school.
"They just started talking bad to one another, wouldn't let it go and it escalated to where finally our suspect just hauled off and punched our victim," said Det. John Brimmer with the Grand Prairie Police Department.
Salazar stood 6 feet tall and weighed 250 pounds. He had the nickname of Little Caesar. Police said he never threw a punch at his attacker.
"He's just a big teddy bear. He's a lovable guy and I thought soldiers fight. The Army, they got to war. Why does he want to do that, he's a peacemaker. He's the man that brings everybody together," his father said.
Navarro was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter and is now in prison in Abilene. He is eligible for parole in 2016.
Cesar Salazar said it would be a mistake to let Navarro out early. He wants him to serve the full 10 years and has already started a writing campaign to the parole board, reminding them of the hero the country lost.
"I'm very proud of my son, very proud," he said.
Is there a story or a person you've been wondering about? Email Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 214-720-3195 or send her a message at facebook.com/heatherhaysfox4.
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