Erik Cantu Jr., teen shot by SAPD officer, charged with felony evading arrest

Teen arrested on warrant Saturday night following disturbance at North Side apartment

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio teenager shot multiple times by an SAPD officer last year was taken into custody Saturday night on a felony warrant for evading arrest with a vehicle, Bexar County court records show.

Erik Cantu Jr., 18, was arrested by SAPD officers who responded around 5:30 p.m. to an apartment in the 15100 block of Blanco Road for a disturbance call.

A woman, who identified herself as the mother of Cantu’s girlfriend, said Cantu showed up at the apartment even though he was not supposed to be there and would not leave.

Records available to SAPD officers showed Cantu had an active felony warrant for his arrest, an incident report states.

Officers found Cantu asleep in an apartment bedroom and took him into custody. He was also issued a criminal trespass warning, the report states.

The warrant states that on Sept. 8, an SAPD bike patrol officer attempted to stop a BMW playing loud music around 8 p.m. at East Market and Navarro streets.

The officer pulled in front of the vehicle at the downtown red light, placed his hand out in a stopping motion and verbally told the driver to stop the vehicle, an SAPD incident report stated.

The driver turned the wheel to the right and began accelerating, forcing the bike officer to again tell the driver to stop.

“The vehicle got around me, peeled out and accelerated through the bus lane passing vehicles at an accelerated speed. The vehicle continued eastbound on Market headed out of the downtown area,” the report states.

The officer, who visibly identified the driver as Cantu at the scene, was later able to confirm the car’s license plate using his body-worn camera footage, according to the report.

Stickers on the windows of the BMW give an Instagram handle for an account that appears to show Cantu holding a large amount of cash.

A felony warrant for evading arrest with a vehicle was then issued Oct. 26, records show.

Cantu was booked on the felony charge and has since bonded out of jail, court records show. Cantu is now awaiting indictment in the case.

Cantu had no attorney listed for his latest criminal charge, as of Monday morning.

In a separate incident, Cantu is accused of fleeing from San Antonio police in a white BMW on Sept. 2 on Northwest Loop 410, an SAPD incident report states.

An SAPD officer around 11 p.m. spotted the vehicle traveling 100 mph in a 65-mph zone. After confirming the license plate, the officer attempted to pull over the vehicle, an SAPD incident report states.

The vehicle failed to stop and instead performed “evasive maneuvers” and began traveling even faster, the report states. The officer ended the pursuit and exited the highway, according to the report.

The case was then forwarded to an SAPD investigation division.

Cantu had not been positively identified as the driver as of late last month, SAPD officials previously told KSAT. He has not been criminally charged in connection with that incident.

SAPD investigators also opened a separate case in August after a woman claiming to be six months pregnant with Cantu’s child accused him of hitting her in the head with a hard object during a dispute at her home, an SAPD incident report states.

The woman, who KSAT is not identifying, told police Cantu hit her and choked her in a separate incident in March, and showed officers photos of her with a black eye and marks on her neck consistent with being choked, the report states.

Investigators closed the assault of a pregnant person case earlier this year after the woman stopped cooperating with the investigation, SAPD officials said.

Cantu on bond in theft case

Cantu and Emily Proulx were charged this summer with theft after San Antonio police investigators said the couple took items from the automotive section of a Walmart in the 8500 block of Jones Maltsberger Road.

The items included a car charger and air freshener and were concealed in a purse, charging records obtained by KSAT show.

Cantu’s next court appearance in the misdemeanor theft case is scheduled for Jan. 17, court records show.

Brennand attorneys want change of venue

Cantu was hospitalized for nearly two months after being shot multiple times in the parking lot of a McDonald’s on Blanco Road by then-SAPD officer James Brennand in October 2022.

The teen suffered injuries to his stomach, diaphragm, lungs, liver, bicep and forearm, his family previously said.

Brennand, who was at the restaurant for an unrelated disturbance call, approached Cantu’s vehicle after recognizing it from an evading arrest incident the night before.

Records reviewed by KSAT Investigates last year show in that previous incident Cantu evaded Brennand at U.S. Highway 281 and Bitters Road.

Brennand, after recognizing the maroon BMW from the previous night, opened the driver’s side door without announcing himself as an officer, footage shows.

The female passenger, Proulx, in an interview with SAPD investigators, said Cantu disregarded Brennand’s command to get out of the car and that the vehicle’s door “hit the officer” and the officer “kinda gets dragged behind” as Cantu backed up, SAPD records show.

Proulx confirmed she was also a passenger in the car during the evading incident the night before.

Brennand, who was a probationary officer with seven months of experience, was fired by SAPD days later as the shooting case began to garner national attention.

Brennand was arrested and then later indicted late last year on two counts of aggravated assault by a public servant and one count of attempted murder.

His attorneys last month filed a motion in court seeking a change of venue for the trial.

Attorneys argued that Brennand would not be able to get an impartial jury due to the extensive media coverage the incident received. They also argued that remarks made by both San Antonio Police Chief William McManus and Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales about the incident would sway any potential jurors.

Judge Joel Perez had not issued a ruling on the motion as of Monday morning, a court official confirmed.

Brennand’s trial has been tentatively scheduled for Dec. 8, court 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.

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