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Roadway tragedies and petty theft: Most-read blotter items of 2017

The police blotter is the informational hub for daily crime and chaos around Denton County. 

The topics range from the unusual to humorous to tragic, and it's difficult to lump them together. What one reader may find funny, another may have a more visceral response to a crime or calamity. In this way, it's important to consider the individual story's integrity, especially when they're bundled together in a "most-read" list. 

This list is just that — the most-read blotter items of 2017 in descending order. It's not intended to play down tragedy or misfortune, but rather look back upon a slew of noteworthy events that didn't quite make the front page. 

Denton police charge driver in crash that left two dead 

Izaiah De LaRosaDenton Police Department
Izaiah De LaRosa
Denton Police Department

Izaiah De LaRosa has been charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter since he was accused of causing a crash on April 29 that killed a Denton mother and daughter.  

Police said the 19-year-old was intoxicated when he was driving a GMC Yukon in the eastbound lanes in the 2800 block of East University Drive about 8:25 p.m. The car drifted into the westbound lanes and struck a blue Nissan Versa head on, killing 44-year-old Janel Santana and her 22-year-old daughter Rebekah Santana. 

De LaRosa was arrested May 5 after Denton police completed their investigation. He has an announcement hearing set for Jan. 10 in Judge Sherry Shipman's 16th Judicial District Court. 

Detached big-rig wheel kills Sanger motorcycle rider on interstate in Denton

A motorcycle rider died on Halloween Day after being struck by a tractor-trailer's detached wheel on southbound Interstate 35 near West University Drive. 

Denton police later identified the motorcyclist as 23-year-old Brady Burger, who attended Strickland Middle School and Ryan High School in Denton. 

Denton police spokesman Bryan Cose said the 18-wheeler was northbound on Interstate 35 when two of the trailer's rear wheels came off. The wheels flew over the divider and struck Burger in the southbound lanes south of West University Drive. 

Road-rage incident ends in shooting after man asks, 'What are you going to do, shoot me?'

A road rage incident ended Dec. 19 when a driver fired at least one round from a handgun toward another driver who earlier asked, "What are you to do, shoot me?" 

Police said both men were in their 60s. The victim, a 62-year-old man, told police he was driving behind the suspect's vehicle when the suspect slammed on his brakes.

Both men pulled over near the intersection of South Interstate 35E and Brinker Road. The victim then approached the suspect's vehicle before the suspect pointed a gun from inside the car, police said. 

After the victim asked his fateful question, the suspect pulled the trigger on the gun numerous times before it fired a single round, police said. The victim said he wasn't shot and waited for police at a nearby Burger King.

Jimmy John's worker chases alleged sandwich thieves, stabs one

Two men picked the wrong Jimmy John's to steal from on Oct. 16. 

Denton police responded to a bloody scene that day at the Jack in the Box in the 1400 block of West Hickory Street, where a Jimmy John's worker stabbed one of two alleged sandwich thieves in the stomach with a pocket knife, authorities said. 

Alejandro Moctezuma GaribayDenton Police Department
Alejandro Moctezuma Garibay
Denton Police Department

Alejandro Garibay, 22, was charged with robbery while he was being treated at Medical City Denton for the stab wounds. He is accused of stealing sandwiches from Jimmy John's with another man and fighting the employee who tried to stop them.

The worker said he had just returned from a delivery about 1 a.m. when he got back to the Jimmy John's restaurant in the 100 block of Avenue A, across from the University of North Texas campus.

He saw two men run out of the store with bags followed by a co-worker saying they stole the sandwiches, according to a Denton police arrest affidavit. The worker then chased the two men and caught up with them on the east side of the nearby Jack in the Box building.

A fight broke out, and the worker said he took out his pocket knife to defend himself. He ended up stabbing one of the men in the altercation, police said. The suspects fled, but police later found Garibay in the hospital. 

Man reportedly shot in face at residence

A 19-year-old man drove roughly 2 miles with a gunshot wound to his face on Jan. 2 before reporting a shooting that occurred two hours earlier, police said. 

He eventually was taken to Denton Regional Medical Center that night after police said he was shot several times at a residence in the Ashli Oaks of Denton mobile home park in the 5300 block of East McKinney Street.

His injuries didn't appear to be life threatening at the time, police said. It's not clear whether an arrest has been made in the case. 

JULIAN GILL can be reached at 940-566-6882.