BANDERA, Texas - The shooting of a 66-year-old woman with a Taser last month has prompted an investigation by the city of Bandera.
The Bandera city marshal used a stun gun on Mary Montes after a May 16 visit by one of his deputy marshals for a possible code violation spiraled out of control. Video and audio of the incident show the deputy apparently trying to arrest Montes after she refused to identify herself beyond her first name.
Montes was charged with resisting arrest and failure to identify, Class A and C misdemeanors respectively.
Bandera Administrator Michael Garr said he is investigating the incident and will present his findings at a July 7 City Council meeting.
According to his report of the incident, Deputy Marshal William Smith visited Gold Rush, which he refers to as Bandera Gold and Silver, a business on the 1300 block of Cypress Street, for a possible code violation. The business had improperly mounted banners without permits, he wrote.
Montes told KSAT she was cleaning the store for a friend at the time but did not work there.
Dashcam video shows Montes removing the banners. As she returns to the store, Smith asks her several times to identify herself. Beyond giving her first name, Montes refuses.
"By law I do not have to identify myself because I was not under arrest," Montes told KSAT.
It's a point that Smith eventually agreed with. In a document dated May 23, Dietrich writes "Deputy Smith arrested a female subject for Fail to Identify, when in fact her actions did not constitute a violation of that statute.....I read Texas Penal Code 38.02 with Deputy Smith and he agreed he was mistaken."
On that day, though, Smith eventually tells Montes to "turn around and place your hands on her head" after she says doesn't have to give him her name or birthday.
The video shows the two struggling as Smith grabs Montes's arms. Over the course of the next few minutes, Smith tells Montes repeatedly to put her hands behind her back, saying, "Please don't make me do this."
Montes shouts at Smith and says repeatedly that Smith is hurting her. The woman eventually sits on the floor.
In his report, Smith wrote Montes continued to pull away from him and he felt "that if I took more forceful measures by myself, to bring her under control, I could possibly injure her." Instead, he called for backup.
Shortly after arriving a few minutes later, Marshal Will Dietrich tells Montes to give Smith her hands and threatens to use his Taser.
"He's hurting my arm. I'll put it behind if he lets go of me," Montes tells Dietrich in the video.
Dietrich gives a final warning and Montes says something unintelligible before the marshal fires his stun gun.
Dietrich then tells her to roll over on her stomach and threatens to use the stun gun on her again until, according to his report, she complied.
After Montes rolls over, Smith handcuffs her and Dietrich calls for EMS.
Smith wrote in an affidavit that Montes continued to refuse to identify herself even after being shot with the Taser. However, the video shows her giving her name and birthday after Smith tells her she will be charged with failure to identify.
Garr said the City Council ordered him to investigate the incident. He said he was investigating "all aspects."
Mayor John Hegemier said the council "hadn't really ordered him to. We just reiterated he had the authority to."
Hegermier said he has heard the audio from the incident. He said he supports the officers' decisions but did not have an opinion on whether they used too much force.
Click here to see the video Montes shared with KSAT, and the Bandera City Marshal's Office provided Smith's dashcam video. Warning the video does contain graphic language. The dashcam footage provided audio but shows little more than a blank wall. The security footage is silent.
KSAT 12 combined the security video with the dashcam's audio by matching the sound of Dietrich walking through the door to create the video below.
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