SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio police officer facing a charge of driving while intoxicated has been indefinitely suspended without pay from the department, the equivalent of being fired.
Arthur Lopez was arrested on suspicion of DWI last October after he was involved in a traffic accident near the intersection of West Market and Navarro Streets. He was off duty at the time of the accident.
"Blood analysis later revealed Officer Lopez had a blood alcohol content of 0.115," records obtained by the Defenders said. A blood alcohol content above .08 is considered intoxicated.
Court records show Lopez's DWI case is still pending. His attorney, Karl Brehm, filed a request for arbitration. He also denied the allegations against Lopez.
"Officer Lopez asserts herein that the punishment is clearly excessive considering all the mitigating circumstances," Brehm said.
Lopez is among 14 SAPD officers suspended in the last month. They include:
- Officer Paul Trigo, three-day suspension without pay. Trigo gave a civilian employee a ride in his SAPD K9 vehicle on Jan. 28.
- Officer Austin Wilke, five-day suspension without pay. Wilke was on-duty in a city-owned vehicle Jan. 15 when he was involved in a traffic accident.
- Detective Jose Riojas, one-day suspension without pay. Riojas "used several different profane words" when speaking with a middle school-age victim of sexual assault and a school counselor while responding to the call on campus.
- Officer Abdiel Munoz, seven-day suspension without pay. Officers were "running/struggling" with a person on a call Dec. 2, 2017, and asked for help over the police radio. Munoz "failed to timely respond for the call for assistance -- despite only being approximately four blocks away" from the call.
- Officer Aaron Klopp, one-day suspension without pay. Klopp was responding to an assault call on Feb. 2. He "failed to write the proper report and gave the victim misleading information concerning what constitutes an assault and what a hate crime is."
- Officer Michael Mandujano, three-day suspension without pay. Mandujano was on duty in a city-owned vehicle when he was involved in a traffic accident.
- Detective Joshua Crumley, one-day suspension without pay. Crumley conducted a traffic stop Feb. 15 and did not arrest a driver who had three outstanding municipal court warrants.
- Officer Edward Vargas, one-day suspension without pay. Vargas was working off duty March 26 and was attempting to make a shoplifting arrest. He used his Taser during the arrest, but it had not been "spark tested" beforehand. He also did not activate his body worn camera before contacting the suspect.
- Officer Jorge Patino, one-day suspension without pay. Patino left his service area April 16 without permission to eat dinner. He also "failed to abide by the posted speed limit."
- Officer Irma Bedoy, one-day suspension without pay. Bedoy did not show up to work a required Fiesta assignment.
- Officer Morgan Lucas, one-day suspension without pay. Lucas did not show up to work a scheduled Fiesta assignment.
- Officer Robert Ferguson Jr., one-day suspension without pay. Ferguson was on duty March 28 when he was involved in a traffic accident.
- Officer Rosemary Caudillo, one-day suspension without pay. Caudillo responded to a traffic accident March 14. She did not activate her body worn camera when she was dispatched. Caudillo did not conduct a driver's license check of one of the drivers, who should have been ticketed for not having a driver's license.
Three deputies with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office were also suspended. They are:
- Sergeant Jelane Thompson, one-day suspension without pay. Thompson did not make sure "pipe system checks" in the jail were performed every 30 minutes, as required. Instead, "it was discovered that the pipe checks were missed for 4 hours and 59 minutes."
- Sergeant Gilbert Bedia received two suspensions. One suspension was for three-days without pay for becoming upset with a supervisor over his assignment on June 4, 2017, then sharing his "discontent with the officers under (Bedia's) direct supervision, using disparaging comments toward the lieutenant's abilities as a shift commander." The second suspension was for two days without pay for a July 8, 2017, incident inside the jail that left two deputies injured in an attack by an inmate. Bedia "acted in an unprofessional manner by criticizing the unit deputies, making unprofessional statements against a fellow sergeant and diminishing the work performance of some of (Bedia's) deputies while speaking to inmates in the unit."
- Deputy Nicholas Diaz, five-day suspension without pay. Diaz did not conduct a proper "face to face observation check" while working in the jail, leaving another deputy to find an inmate had been attacked by two other inmates in a cell.