SAFD cuts ties with cadet accused of choking woman, forcing himself on her in back of vehicle

John Estrada, 24, charged with felony strangulation, attempted sexual assault and unlawful restraint

SAFD cadet John Estrada was arrested on a charge of felony family violence, unlawful restraint and attempted sexual assault. (Copyright 2024 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SHAVANO PARK, Texas – A San Antonio Fire Department cadet has been terminated after Shavano Park police said he choked a woman and attempted to sexually assault her in the back of a vehicle in late January.

John Estrada, 24, faces charges of family violence-strangulation, attempted sexual assault and unlawful restraint, charging paperwork obtained by KSAT Investigates shows.

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Shavano Park police were dispatched to a home on Jan. 28 for a report of an assault involving strangulation.

A woman told police Estrada “became aggressive in nature” while they were kissing in the back of his vehicle following a date, an arrest affidavit shows.

After the woman told Estrada she did not want to engage in sexual intercourse, Estrada used his legs to hold her legs in place, placed his hands on her private area and unbuttoned her pants while she repeatedly told him “no,” the warrant states.

The warrant states Estrada began laughing at the woman as she repeatedly asked to leave his vehicle.

The victim “reached into the front to grab her purse when the suspect grabbed her throat from behind and squeezed so hard that she could not breathe,” according to the warrant.

The woman’s vision became blurry and she almost “blacked out,” the warrant states.

She was finally able to open a back door and get out of the vehicle, according to the warrant.

Estrada was taken into custody on Jan. 30 while at the San Antonio Fire Academy on Callaghan Road and charged with felony family violence.

He was then charged in early February with unlawful restraint and attempted sexual assault, Bexar County court records show.

An SAFD spokesman confirmed Thursday that Estrada has been terminated and that his arrest did not impact operations at the training academy.

Estrada, who cannot appeal his termination, would have needed to complete his training and a six-month probationary period as a firefighter in order to have civil service protection.

His listed criminal defense attorney did not return a call from KSAT seeking comment Friday.

Estrada has posted bond on all three of his charges, court records show.

Find resources for victims of domestic violence here.

Read more reporting on the KSAT Investigates page.

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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