SAFD defends decision to not terminate firefighter after second weapon arrest in less than two years

Jesus Cuevas, 33, suspended 90 days after June arrest for reckless driving, unlawful carry of a weapon

Jesus Ceuvas was given a 90-day sentence after a release and settlement agreement signed in November. (Courtesy of Bexar, Hays County Jails, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio firefighter found with a handgun in his car during his arrest this summer for reckless driving will remain with the department, despite it being his second weapon-related arrest in less than two years, disciplinary records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders confirm.

Jesus Cuevas, 33, was handed a 90-day suspension in early November, months after San Marcos police said he was driving on Interstate 35 at a high rate of speed, passing vehicles using the inside shoulder.

Recommended Videos

During his arrest for the driving offense in late June, which Cuevas blamed on being “upset over personal issues and angry that a vehicle was driving slowly in the leftmost lane,” the off-duty firefighter informed officers he had a handgun in the vehicle, suspension records show.

Both criminal cases, reckless driving and unlawful carry of a weapon, remain pending, according to Hays County court records.

SAFD officials first handed Cuevas an indefinite suspension, which was subsequently reduced to a 90-day suspension after Cuevas met with San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood.

Cuevas agreed to waive any right to appeal as part of a release and settlement agreement signed by him and Hood on Nov. 10.

Drunken firefighter who lied about weapon in car gets 75 day suspension

It is the second time in 21 months that Cuevas had a potentially fireable offense instead reduced to a lengthy suspension.

In September 2018, San Antonio police observed Cuevas driving near Interstate 35 South and Cesar Chavez Boulevard without a tire on his vehicle’s left rear rim.

Cuevas, whose blood alcohol content was over .15, told officers he did not have weapons in the vehicle.

However, a search of Cuevas’ vehicle uncovered a handgun next to the driver’s seat along with two magazines, according to previous coverage of his arrest.

Bexar County court records indicate Cuevas was not criminally charged for unlawful carry of a weapon following the 2018 incident.

Court records previously showed Cuevas was admitted to Bexar County’s Veterans Treatment Court in the DWI case.

The court was created to help veterans with treatment and support services to reduce possible additional incarceration events.

Cuevas’ DWI case no longer shows up during a search of court records, an indication that Cuevas may have had the charge expunged from his record or that the court removed the case history after he completed the Veterans Treatment Court program.

Suspension paperwork related to the 2018 arrest shows that Cuevas was eventually handed a 75-day suspension after he and Hood signed a different release and settlement agreement in late January 2019.

The agreement, referred to by many sworn agencies as a last chance agreement, required Cuevas to enter a rehabilitation program and stated he would be required to resign if he was arrested on suspicion of DWI in any jurisdiction.

SAFD officials defended the decision not to terminate Cuevas after his most recent arrest and called the use of the phrase last chance agreement “an outdated term for a policy that was previously in place.”

The written statement went on to read the following:

“While it was considered in the recent discipline process, the offense you inquired about was not part of the previous settlement agreement. As a result of the recent settlement agreement, Mr. Cuevas was suspended for 90 days.”

Cuevas began serving his 90-day suspension on Nov. 14, city records show.

About the Author

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.

Recommended Videos