San Antonio mayor calls for release of body camera footage in recent arrest of Black jogger

Nirenberg: Mathias Ometu’s arrest ’needs to be explained’

Black jogger detained by SAPD wasn’t suspect they were looking for. Now he’s charged with felony assault on officers
Black jogger detained by SAPD wasn’t suspect they were looking for. Now he’s charged with felony assault on officers

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg wants the police department to publicly release the footage of their arrest of Mathias Ometu, a jogger who was arrested by officers after they stopped him while investigating a felony family violence call.

Ometu was not the suspect they were looking for, but following a struggle, officers took him into custody and charged him with two counts of assaulting a peace officer.

Nirenberg called for the public release of the body camera footage on Friday.

“We’ve got to make sure we understand the facts before we can speak clearly on what happens next,” he said.

Nirenberg noted Ometu’s arrest comes amid a national conversation about race and policing.

“We have to treat this issue seriously and the outcomes have to be from a basis of equity for every person,” Nirenberg said.

The mayor said he expects the footage to be released sometime next week.

On Tuesday, officers were called to Woodstone Drive near Interstate 10 after a woman told officers she was punched and choked by a man. The suspect fled before police arrived to the scene.

While police were searching the area, they encountered Ometu, who was wearing bright-colored workout clothes and headphones.

Ometu, an insurance adjuster who does not have a criminal record, repeatedly refused to give his name or date of birth to police, which is a legal right in Texas unless the person is arrested or operating a motor vehicle.

Officers who stopped Ometu claimed they had “reasonable suspicion” to believe he matched the description of the family violence suspect.

“The information that they relayed out to other officers responding to the scene was that the male had fled the location and was wearing a bright green shirt and shorts,” an SAPD spokesperson said.

Police allege that during the struggle, Ometu “forcefully used his legs to kick in the officer’s direction and his foot made contact with the officer,” the spokesperson wrote. “... A second officer was injured by (Ometu) physically kicking him in the face. The officer complained of face pain from the incident.”

Ometu and the officers were treated by EMS at the scene, according to information provided by SAPD.

The victim of the initial family violence incident was later brought to the scene and confirmed that Ometu was not the person who assaulted her, SAPD records show.

Ometu bailed out of jail Thursday, two days after his arrest.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said they are looking into the case.

“An arrest is often the beginning of a criminal matter,” Gonzales said in a statement. “Law enforcement must complete their investigation and file their full case with our office. At that point, we will review and consider how to proceed with any potential criminal case.”

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Black jogger detained by SAPD wasn’t suspect they were looking for. Now he’s charged with felony assault on officers.


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