Jail blames SAPD after felon mistakenly released, recaptured

Nikky Velez back in custody

Courtesy: Bexar County Jail

SAN ANTONIO – A convicted felon arrested over the weekend in connection to an auto theft was mistakenly released from the Bexar County Jail Sunday after a San Antonio police officer failed to inform jail officials the suspect had a parole violation, a Bexar County Sheriff's Office spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

The suspect, Nikky Velez, was recaptured at an area bail bond company Sunday after a jail official found a fax regarding the parole violation, according to the BCSO spokesman.

"Velez had an active parole warrant that was confirmed by SAPD. When the SAPD officer presented the inmate to Bexar County for booking, he did not inform the BCSO verification officer of the parole violation, he did not annotate on the booking slip that Velez had a parole violation and he did not provide a hit confirmation of the parole violation," BCSO spokesman Deputy Johnny Garcia said via email.

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Court records show Velez was arrested Saturday and charged with theft of a vehicle between $2,500 and $30,000, and was later able to post bond in the case.

An SAPD spokeswoman confirmed that officers responded to the 10100 block of Culebra Road around 3:30 a.m. Saturday for a call for recovered stolen property.

The spokeswoman said the report and preliminary information regarding Velez's arrest were not available.

When asked about the officer's handling of Velez's arrest, SAPD's Public Information Office released the following statement:

SAPD arrested the suspect for vehicle theft, the handling Officer checked him for warrants but inadvertently entered the wrong date of birth. As a result, the suspect’s active warrant was not returned on the computer check. After the suspect was transferred to BCSO’s custody, their Central Records Unit discovered the parole violation warrant. The suspect was in their custody for over thirteen hours after they discovered the warrant. 


Court records show Velez was released from state prison just weeks ago, in early June.

He was given an 8-year prison sentence in April 2012 in connection to a deadly conduct-firearm conviction.

Velez's lengthy criminal record in Bexar County includes multiple vehicle burglaries, aggravated robbery, escape from a correctional facility and theft.

Garcia said via email that BCSO officials contacted the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and were informed the Velez incident did not constitute an erroneous release, since Velez was not booked into county custody for the parole violation.

His release is the latest episode marking a turbulent year inside the jail.

In January, an inmate being held on an immigration detainer was mistakenly released from the jail.

BCSO officials later said that they had no authority to re-arrest him.

That same month, an inmate was accidentally sent to a state prison instead of an in-patient drug counseling program. 

In late February, jail administrator Deputy Chief Ruben Vela was fired after refusing to tender his resignation.

In April, following Vela's dismissal, a jail inmate was mistakenly released without being first outfitted with a GPS monitor.

The inmate, Thomas Smith, was later recaptured by San Antonio police.

About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.