Bexar County Sheriff’s lieutenant under investigation for possible role in deadly US Capitol riot

Lt. Roxanne Mathai on leave since Oct. 2020 due to unrelated incident

SAN ANTONIO – A Bexar County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant is under investigation both criminally and administratively after posting multiple photographs on Facebook showing her near the U.S. Capitol Wednesday as a mob breached a police line and ultimately went inside the building during a deadly riot.

Lt. Roxanne Mathai, who was pictured in a red, white and blue mask and draped in a President Donald Trump flag, posted the photos throughout the day Wednesday as the world watched Washington, D.C.

Several photos were posted on her Facebook page behind security settings, meaning only certain people connected to Mathai were able to view them.

The KSAT 12 Defenders obtained the photos early Thursday.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said during a virtual press conference Thursday afternoon that his staff had forwarded the images to law enforcement in Washington, D.C., as well as the FBI.

Bexar County Sheriff's Office Lt. Roxanne Mathai, who was pictured in a red, white and blue mask and draped in a President Donald Trump flag, posted images from the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. She posted images on social media throughout the day. (KSAT)

Salazar said he had also been in contact with Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the San Antonio division of the FBI, to gather more information on when a dispersal order had been given to the crowd that gathered outside the Capitol.

In the photos, Mathai is shown walking and states she was headed to the Capitol after listening to President Trump deliver a speech during the “Save America March”.

Mathai also posted a picture showing rioters after they had broken through a police line and occupied the balcony of the Capitol.

“......And we are going the crowd at the stairs...not inside the capitol like the others. Not catching a case lol,” wrote Mathai next to a selfie and several photos of rioters scaling scaffolding in front of the Capitol.

“Not gonna lie.....aside from my kids, this was, indeed, the best day of my life. And it’s not over yet,” wrote Mathai alongside another series of photos.

She included the American flag emoji in the captions of images of hundreds of President Donald Trump supporters breaching the federal legislative building, a sight not seen since the War of 1812.

Dozens of police officers were injured, one woman was shot and killed and three others died from “medical episodes” during the hours-long siege, according to multiple media reports.

Mathai, 46, had been on leave since October as BCSO investigators looked into a possible inappropriate relationship between her and an inmate, Sheriff Javier Salazar confirmed.

She is an eight-year veteran of the agency, who was hired in 2012.

A county source said Thursday Mathai was promoted in June.

“Whether it happens here within the confines of these four walls or whether it happens in another state or another country, you break the law, I promise I’m going to hold you accountable here,” said Salazar during an afternoon press conference.

Salazar confirmed that Mathai would typically have 70-80 employees under her command during any given shift.

A 35 second video of Mathai obtained by the Defenders, that she appeared to record herself, shows her walking up to the steps of the Capitol and saying, “We’re going in. Tear gas and all. Tear gas don’t bother me.”

The video was recorded after hundreds of rioters had already pushed through the line of police officers and were occupying the Capitol’s balcony and nearby scaffolding.

“My intent is that she never set foot in this building again,” said Salazar.

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.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.

Recommended Videos