BCSO: Deputy challenges inmate to fight, loses, then is charged for it

Ta-Vian Ra Shaun Gloeckler, 23, charged with official oppression, assault

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist, Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A 23-year-old Bexar County Sheriff's Office detention deputy accused of taking off his uniform top and challenging an inmate to a fight is charged with official oppression and assault causing bodily injury, the Sheriff's Office said.

Sheriff Javier Salazar said Ta-Vian Ra Shaun Gloeckler got into a disagreement with a 36-year-old inmate at the jail for assault-related crimes. Salazar said Gloeckler escalated the disagreement over the movement of the inmate when he took off his uniform top and challenged the inmate to a fight that was caught on jail cameras.

Salazar said the inmate overpowered Gloeckler and he surrendered. Gloeckler, Salazar said, threatened the inmate to keep quiet about the fight, otherwise "he would face additional charges in addition to what (he's there) for."

SEE THE OFFENSE REPORT HERE

The inmate and Gloeckler were both questioned about the fight, but their answers, Salazar said, weren't adding up. According to an offense report obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders, Gloeckler told his supervisors the inmate had his "fists clenched, so (he) punched him before he could get into a fighting stance." 

The inmate, however, said that as he was packing his things to be moved to another unit, Gloeckler "rushed (him), stepping on (his) right foot and (punched him) with a hook to (his) face."

The inmate told authorities he picked Gloeckler up, slammed him on the floor and held him there until he tapped out.

"It became pretty apparent as the story unraveled what it was that had occurred," Salazar said.

Salazar said that while the inmate was "mouthy" with Gloeckler prior to the fight, his team is trained to handle such incidents and demeanors.

"We're trained to such a level that we already know going into this that you're going to face that sort of language, or sometimes even demeanor from an inmate," Salazar said. "That's a given. That's a part of the job. If you allow that to get to you to the point that you feel the need to physically assault somebody, maybe you need to find another line of work."

Neither exhibited outward signs of injury after the fight, but Salazar called it "dumb luck." He said because there is video of the fight that shows exactly what happened, he moved swiftly to press charges against the deputy.​

An offense report states jail surveillance video showed Gloeckler approach the inmate at 2:04 a.m. as the inmate packed his things and punch the inmate in the face repeatedly. Jail surveillance confirmed the inmate's story about the body slam.

This is the 16th employee of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office that has been arrested this year.​

"I can tell you right now that number, year-to-date, is 16, and if I have to make that number 17 tonight and 18 tomorrow, I will do that without hesitation," Salazar said.

He added that the number is the sign of a change in culture in the Sheriff's Office.

"I know it's been alluded to that there may be a culture going on in the Sheriff's Office," Salazar said. "I can tell you that if there is any sort of a culture going on, this exactly what's happening today, is what culture change looks like. Sometimes it gets ugly and sometimes you have to make an arrest in a case and let the chips fall where they may. You handle it appropriately as it comes along."

He said that for every deputy that has disavowed their oath, he believes there are 10 others who did their job and reported behavioral issues.

Salazar said there's no evidence Gloeckler exhibited a pattern of bad behavior prior to his arrest.

Gloeckler was hired in May 2017 and will be placed on unpaid administrative leave, pending further criminal investigation.

BCSO officials said they will conduct an internal affairs investigation separate from the ongoing administrative investigation.

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