Mother of inmate says name mix-up led to his accidental release from Bexar County Jail

Gilbert Lopez, 36, taken back to jail Thursday

SAN ANTONIO – The mother of an inmate who was released from the Bexar County Jail in error earlier this week said she believes it was due to a mix-up involving his name.

Gilbert Lopez, 36, was set free Wednesday evening, but he was back in custody by 5 p.m. Thursday after being rounded up by the Bexar County Sheriff's Office Fugitive Apprehension Unit.

Lopez's mother, who did not want to speak on camera or reveal her name, told KSAT 12 News Friday morning that the accidental release was due to confusion surrounding her son's name.

She said detectives who knocked on her door looking for her son told her it was a different Gilbert Lopez who should have been released.

An official statement from the Sheriff's Office Thursday indicated that the early release was due to a "clerical error."

Late Friday afternoon, Sheriff's Office spokesman Johnny Garcia said the paperwork that allowed Lopez to be released was viewed by three civilians and a booking sergeant. 

"The paperwork received indicated that his charge had been dismissed and was processed to be released from custody. However, the paperwork received was from 2015 (the original possession charge), not the 2018 charge, thus making it erroneous to release him," Garcia said in an email.

On Nov. 5, Lopez was arrested by the San Antonio Police Department for possession of a controlled substance. Eight days later, a warrant was issued for his arrest on a 2015 possession charge that he was on probation for and was arrested by SAPD on Nov. 22. 

Lopez was not scheduled to be released, Garcia said.

Records show Lopez was due to appear in court Monday.

Lopez's mother said she did not get a chance to see him during his brief period of unexpected freedom.

She said the first time she learned he was back on the streets was when detectives knocked on her door, looking for him.

Lopez's mother said she is sad about what happened and that releasing and re-arresting him seems like a cruel joke.

About the Author: