Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau addresses discipline problems in office

2 jail guards injured in fight; Deputy arrested on domestic abuse charge; Other deputy arrest for obstructing wife's arrest

SAN ANTONIO – A Bexar County detention officer was sent to Nix Hospital after he got into a physical altercation with another officer Sunday morning.

According to the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, the altercation started as a verbal disagreement, then led to the fight on the fourth floor of the jail that sent the deputy to the hospital.

Officers Benjamin Hernandez and Andreas Aldana were named as the participants by Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau at a press conference on Monday morning.

The officers were arguing over how a rookie officer should be trained when things got heated and they fought, Pamerleau said.

Aldana apparently bit part of Hernandez's ear off, but he's expected to be OK.

They both face administrative leave, pending investigations.

There will also be an internal investigation by the Professional Standards and Integrity Division, the Bexar County sheriff's version of internal affairs, to determine any disciplinary action.

Pamerleau also addressed other disciplinary actions faced by members of her department.

Deputy Mark McGee was arrested last week on a domestic abuse charge by San Antonio police. Already on administrative leave for stealing copper earlier this year, Pamerleau said he's now facing two criminal investigations.

Pamerleau also mentioned Deputy Allen Figueroa, who was arrested on a charge of obstructing an arrest, after she said he got in the way of other deputies as they attempted to arrest Figueroa's wife for an outstanding domestic abuse warrant.

Pamerleau pointed to stress as a possible reason for the recent rash of disciplinary actions against members of her staff.

"We all deal with stress in different ways, but if there are no appropriate outlets to release job-related stress or training to deal with stress, these kinds of things take place," she said.

Pamerleau said her office plans on setting up counseling for their officers, as well as providing chaplains in an attempt to curb these growing problems.

BCSO spokesman Paul Berry said Monday afternoon that Pamerleau is fed up with this behavior and does not believe that stress is an excuse for the bad behavior. He said she believes it is one of the root causes, but that it doesn't excuse the behavior.