SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff's Office suspended five deputies or detention officers during the October-December 2017 period for various rules violations, records obtained by KSAT-12 show.
The suspensions have been finalized, meaning the accused accepted the discipline handed down by BCSO administrators. The suspensions are as follows:
- Deputy Steven Metcalf, 5-day suspension. Metcalf was initially issued a 30-day suspension for driving a BCSO patrol vehicle off-road and into a ravine on June 12, 2017. The vehicle had to be towed from the scene. It sustained more than $4,000 in damage. The suspension document said when questioned about why he "would attempt such harsh terrain, (Metcalf) explained (he was) attempting to find the Fair Oaks officers" who were investigating a possible shooting. Metcalf requested a hearing on the suspension and it was reduced after he agreed to waive further grievance and appeal procedures.
- Deputy Samuel C. Garcia, 3-day suspension. Garcia was initially issued a 10-day suspension for fraternizing with a person in custody. Garcia met with a "known work release inmate to conduct business for financial gain" on April 10, 2017. The suspension paperwork said Garcia "admitted to meeting and engaging the service of a known inmate in the custody of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office." The suspension was reduced to three days after Garcia agreed to waive further grievance and appeal procedures.
- Deputy Abigail Rios, 3-day suspension. Rios was initially issued a 10-day suspension for releasing an inmate who should have remained in custody. Rios was assigned to the booking release in desk on July 19, 2017, when she released the inmate. The suspension document said the inmate was supposed to be on a "hold from a court ordered program," but was instead released. Rios requested a grievance hearing and the suspension was reduced to three days. She agreed to waive further grievance and appeal procedures.
- Deputy Fernando Luna, 1-day suspension. Luna was initially issued a five-day suspension for wrecking a patrol unit during a pursuit on May 18, 2017. The suspension paperwork said Luna tried to pull over a car because the driver was not wearing his safety belt. The driver pulled over, but took off as Luna approached the car. "You then pursued the suspect vehicle, with lights and sirens activated, until you were involved in a crash at the intersection of Lombrano Street and Adaes Avenue. As a result of this pursuit and vehicle crash, BSO Unit 8508 was unable to be repaired and was considered a 'total loss,'" the document said. Luna's suspension was reduced to one day after a grievance hearing. He agreed to waive further grievance and appeal procedures.
- Corporal Mercedes Holguin, 30-day suspension. Holguin initially received an order of dismissal for her conduct in the jail on Feb. 24, 2017. The suspension paperwork said inmates from one unit were temporarily moved to a unit where Hoguin was assigned. The inmates asked for their mail, and Holguin told a sergeant she did not have it, even though "(Holguin) had already received the mail and had given it to (another officer) to hold until the end of the shift." The document also said Holguin described the unit as "on the verge of chaotic." She also said she was "joking to keep the inmates in line." The document said that was not appropriate because it "diminishes your authority. Additionally, acting like you were going to push an inmate into her bunk or telling an inmate that you will notch her with your pen are not appropriate methods to gain compliance." Holguin's suspension was reduced to 30 days. She was also ordered to compete conflict resolution, interpersonal communications training. Holguin agreed to waive further grievance and appeal procedures.