Retired SAPD detective beats felony assault charge after victim disappears

Victim Christian Torres wanted on warrant for continuous sex abuse of a child

San Antonio Police Department retired detective John Schiller is shown during an encounter on Sept. 27, 2020 at the Home Depot parking lot located off Loop 1604 and Culebra road on the far West Side. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County prosecutors have dismissed a felony assault charge against a retired San Antonio police detective after the victim in the case disappeared amid his own criminal issues.

Cellphone footage captured by the victim in September 2020 showed ex-detective John Schiller pointing a handgun at the man and, at one point, pushing him to the ground in front of a Home Depot store located at Loop 1604 and Culebra Road.

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Schiller had accused the victim, Christian Torres, of stealing Schiller’s ex-wife’s cellphone.

“Get on the ground. Get on the ground now! Get on the (expletive) ground. You think I’m playing?” said Schiller as cellphone video appeared to show him push Torres against a vehicle outside the store.

A second angle recorded by a person in a vehicle showed Schiller holding a handgun while he and Torres walked near the entrance of the store.

Schiller was indicted by a Bexar County grand jury for the incident in July 2021.

John Schiller was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. (KSAT)

He was scheduled to go to trial Sept. 22 on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Prosecutors, however, dismissed the felony case due to a “missing witness.”

A spokesperson for the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Tuesday that Torres did not make himself available to testify at Schiller’s trial.

“The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office made multiple attempts to contact Mr. Torres to prosecute the case against Mr. Schiller. While we had been in touch with Mr. Torres we were unable to secure his appearance for trial on Sep. 22, 2022. The case against Mr. Schiller was dismissed due to a missing witness (Mr. Torres). At present, Mr. Torres is a fugitive for a warrant on continuous sexual abuse of a child,” a spokesperson said via email.

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.

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