Sheriff penalizes Deputy who followed County policy and successfully apprehended car thief.
San Antonio, TX – Last night, January 27, 2020, a member of our community had their car stolen. A search for the suspect was launched, and an alert Deputy Sheriff spotted and stopped the stolen vehicle. As back up arrived, the suspect fled the scene in the stolen vehicle at high speed and the deputy radioed her supervisor for instruction.
The supervisor gave the deputy permission to pursue the suspect. The deputy took action and began pursuing the suspect, who had already broken the law and whose desperate getaway had the potential of putting more people and property at risk. Eventually, the suspect’s reckless driving caused him to strike another vehicle, after which he was successfully apprehended by the pursuing deputy. The victims in the car that was struck by the suspect were unharmed and they refused to file any charges.
While the deputy was completing her arrest of the suspect at the magistrate’s office, she was pulled into Sheriff’s Administration and told she was being placed on Administrative Duty (“desk duty”). She was told this was being done because of her pursuit of the driver of the stolen vehicle. In effect, she was being placed on “desk duty” and taken off her normal duties simply because she enforced the law, took a car thief off the streets of Bexar County and returned stolen property to the rightful owner, all of which were successful actions for which she had asked – and was granted – permission to take.
“Sidelining a deputy for doing her job, following Sheriff’s policy and protecting this community, sends a conflicting message to deputies: when you do your job, you’ll be penalized,” said Jeremy Payne, President of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County. “It’s sad that this Sheriff would punish, rather than praise, his own deputies for successfully taking a car thief off the streets and returning stolen property to the rightful owner.”
In addition, the supervisors who authorized the pursuit are also being similarly threatened. It’s also important to note that while responding to this incident, the deputy and supervisors followed all county policies to the letter.