SAN ANTONIO – An officer in the San Antonio Police Department has been fired for giving a homeless person a fecal sandwich, police officials said.
Officer Matthew Luckhurst was a five-year veteran of the force and had been assigned to downtown bike patrol for about a year, police officials said.
The incident was reported in early May, when Luckhurst bragged to a fellow officer that he had picked up some feces, placed it in a slice of bread and put it in a Styrofoam container next to the homeless man, police officials said. The officer reported that he told Luckhurst to go back and throw it away, police officials said. The officer said he saw Luckhurst go back and assumed that he threw away the container. Police have looked for the homeless man, but haven't found him, His identity isn't known.
Internal affairs was notified of the incident in July after another officer reported Luckhurst's actions to his supervisor, police officials said. The case was investigated and presented in October to civilian and sworn review boards, which recommended that Luckhurst be placed on indefinite suspension. McManus met with Luckhurst and upheld the suspension.
"This was a vile and disgusting act that violates our guiding principles of 'treating all with integrity, compassion, fairness and respect,'" McManus said in a statement. "The fact that his fellow officers were so disgusted with his actions that they reported him to internal affairs demonstrates that this type of behavior will never be tolerated. The action of this one former officer in no way reflects the actions of all the other good men and women who respectfully serve this community."
Mayor Ivy Taylor said in a statement that the firing, "was the right thing to do. His actions were a betrayal of every value we have in our community, and he is not representative of our great police force."
Luckhurts' attorney, Ben Sifuentes Jr., said that McManus has a history of erroneously suspending officers.
"There have been several arbitrations that I've had where what he alleges in the suspension turned out to be false. So let's not assume that what he says is true," Sifuentes said. "Number 2, there's no eyewitness. No video camera showing what he alleges in fact happened. I think when it comes to arbitration, we're going to prevail. We're going to show this didn't happen the way the chief alleged."