SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio police officer who hit a pedestrian while speeding to respond to an aggravated robbery call was suspended for 30 days without pay, according to records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders.
Officer Aaron Klopp agreed to the discipline in August, and it was reduced from a proposed 45-day suspension.
The suspension agreement cited the accident on May 21 in which Klopp struck and killed Claude Espinosa, 67, in the 5400 block of San Pedro Avenue.
"Officer Klopp was driving in the center turn lane of San Pedro Avenue at a rate of speed of between 70-75 miles per hour. Officer Klopp failed to exercise reasonable care in the operation of his city vehicle, deviated from established driving practices, and was the major cause of the collision and death of the pedestrian who was standing in the center lane of San Pedro Avenue," the document said.
At the time of the accident, police said the impact threw Espinosa into the opposite lanes of traffic, where he was hit by another vehicle. Espinosa died at the scene.
Klopp will not begin serving the suspension term until Jan. 5, 2019. When he returns to work, he will be required to attend training and will be placed on administrative duty until Chief William McManus gives him a permanent assignment, the document said.
The San Antonio Police Department suspended eight other officers last month.
- Officer Justin Ayars, indefinite suspension. Pending review by an arbitrator, Ayars was essentially terminated by the department for beating his girlfriend with a rock.
- Officer Pedro Carvajal, 1-day suspension without pay. Carvajal was on-duty and in a city-owned vehicle when he struck a rock in the 7500 block of New Laredo Highway on June 3, 2018.
- Detective Jimmy Castillo, 30-day suspension without pay. Castillo was intoxicated and involved in a disturbance on March 18. When police arrived, they said he "failed to exhibit the proper respect" towards a police captain.
- Officer Amanda DeHoyos, 1-day suspension without pay. DeHoyos accused an apartment complex manager of sexually harassing another officer, but it was later determined the manager had not spoken to the officer.
- Detective Alfred Flores, 1-day suspension without pay. Flores did not start his body worn camera when he received a call for a suspicious vehicle. He started recording when he "exited his vehicle and pointed his gun at the reporting person, who was driving the vehicle that had been following Detective Flores for about five miles."
- Officer Eduardo Hinojosa, 5-day suspension without pay. Hinojosa was on-duty and in a city-owned vehicle when he struck a street sign in the 4900 bock of Woodstone Dr. on June 16, 2018.
- Officer Oscar Perez, 1-day suspension without pay. Perez failed to turn on his body worn camera when he was dispatched to a call for service.
- Officer Gerald Rodriguez, 3-day suspension without pay. Rodriguez did not conduct a warrant check, nor did he arrest a woman even though she and her brother told him she had a warrant out for her arrest.
The San Antonio Fire Department suspended two deputies in August.
- Probationary Fire Fighter Samuel Handowski, 45-day suspension without pay. Handowski was taking part in training and "failed to acknowledge or comply with" orders from the Acting Batallion Chief. Records said Handowski "ignored requests multiple times" and that he disobeyed orders, failing to complete the exercise. The suspension was reduced from a proposed indefinite suspension.
- Fire Fighter Andreas Moore, 5-day suspension without pay. Moore was photographed in a local bar where he admitted having a beer while in his uniform t-shirt.
The Bexar County Sheriff's Office also suspended two deputies in the last month.
- Public Safety Officer Elizabeth Chesser, 1-day suspension without pay. Chesser was seen with a book and a cellphone at her work station, distractions BCSO said were part of "a trend in (Chesser's) poor job performance." In one incident, "(Chesser was) observed intently texting someone while (she) had a live 911 call and (she was) not plugged into the phone system."
- Deputy Jacqueline Tellez, 3-day suspension without pay. Tellez called in sick to work an off-duty job.