Charges dropped against Black jogger detained during SAPD family violence investigation, attorney says

Arrest drew scrutiny from public officials

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County District Attorney’s office has agreed to drop charges against a jogger who refused to give police his information while he was detained in a family violence investigation, according to his attorney.

Mathias Ometu’s attorney, Adam Kobs, confirmed that the charges were dropped Tuesday shortly after police released the body camera footage in Ometu’s arrest.

Ometu was initially charged with two felony counts of assaulting a peace officer and spent two days in the Bexar County jail after SAPD officers detained him while investigating a family violence incident on the North Side. Officers said he matched a description of the suspect but Ometu refused to provide his name, leading them to handcuff him and force him into a vehicle, during which he allegedly kicked two officers.

After reviewing all the evidence as well as considering all the facts and circumstances, I have decided that the just outcome is the dismissal of all charges against Mr. Ometu. It is important to note the officers involved in this case have requested dismissal as well. Neither officer wishes to have him incur any future consequences are a result of this incident. This case is one of competing interests. It is the officer’s duty to investigate and detain a person of interest that may be a suspect in a crime versus a citizen’s right not to disclose their identification where no arrest has been made. In this case, the officers did have a description that led them to believe that Mr. Ometu may have been the suspect they were seeking. However, Mr. Ometu was not that person and did not have an obligation to identify himself or make a statement. Ultimately, the officers agree that dismissal is in the interest of justice,” Gonzales said.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales

Ometu’s arrest no longer shows up on Bexar County court records.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus also released a statement about the dismissal:

What occurred was an unfortunate situation for everyone involved. Although he fit the description of a domestic violence suspect, Mr. Ometu was doing nothing wrong when he was stopped, and the officers were only doing their jobs when they stopped him. Both officers wish that things had turned out differently given Mr. Ometu turned out not to be the suspect. Although the police officers were assaulted, they were not injured. As such, they have asked that the charges against Mr. Ometu be dismissed. They also do not want Mr. Ometu to suffer any adverse consequences from the incident. Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales has agreed to drop the charges. Both officers felt it important to use this incident as an opportunity for unity and understanding at a time when it is most needed. It is clear that pursuing charges against Mr. Ometu would not bring us closer to our goals of building trust and creating partnerships with our community. We have invited Mr. Ometu to start a dialogue on policing in San Antonio, and that invitation will remain open,

Police Chief William McManus

In a Tuesday memo, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said the officers acted appropriately based on the description they were given.

The suspect police were looking for, Darren Smith Jr., was arrested Friday on an unrelated robbery warrant.

This is a developing story. Check back later for more information.

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.