After mistrial, prosecutors dismiss charge against ex-SAPD officer, reindict second officer on reduced charge

Carlos Castro, Thomas Villarreal granted mistrial last month after issues with state witnesses were raised

Former San Antonio police officers Carlos Castro (left) and Thomas Villarreal (right) were on trial after being charged with aggravated assault by a public servant. (Misael Gomez, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – A former San Antonio police officer accused of beating a man after kicking in the door of his East Side home has been reindicted on a lesser charge of assault while a fellow officer involved in the case has had his charge dismissed, court records obtained Thursday by KSAT Investigates show.

Carlos Castro was indicted Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of assault causing bodily injury, a steep reduction from the felony aggravated assault by a public servant charge he previously faced.

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Thomas Villarreal, meanwhile, got his charge of aggravated assault by a public servant dismissed after prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence in the case, dismissal paperwork obtained by KSAT shows.

The officers were accused of kicking in the door of a home in January 2020 and beating Eric Wilson, after Wilson parked in a driveway and closed the door on Castro and Villarreal as they attempted to detain him in connection with a traffic stop.

Two officers were fired after beating Eric Wilson, who was arrested on drug charges in January 2020. (KSAT)

Both officers were later fired by the SAPD for excessive force.

The Villarreal dismissal and Castro reindictment come less than two months after a state district judge granted a mistrial in their cases.

An attorney for the duo, who were being tried at the same time, had argued outside the presence of the jury that expert witnesses for the prosecution believed his clients acted reasonably.

Attorney Jason Goss said if he had known about those witnesses before the start of the trial, he would have tried the case differently.

“When you’re trying and defending police officers for your use of force case, the fact that the state’s own witnesses believed that it was reasonable is pretty important information,” Goss said last month.

“Upon review of evidence and trial testimony, our office has determined it appropriate to dismiss charges against defendant Thomas Villarreal. Charges against defendant Carlos Castro remain pending,” Bexar County DA Civil Rights Division Chief Daryl Harris said in a written statement.

Castro is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charge Friday, court records show.

Both ex-officers are appealing their terminations from SAPD.

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.

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.