SAPD officer suspended after deploying stun gun on man ‘for no reason’ is one of 20 disciplined in January

Two officers fired, others suspended in use-of-force cases, records show

Twenty San Antonio police officers were suspended for misconduct in January, according to records recently obtained by KSAT 12 News.

The batch of records, turned over three months after they were initially requested by KSAT, are the most recent round of suspensions released by the San Antonio Police Department.

Two of the suspensions involve officers Erik Rodriguez and Jonathan Montalvo who are both facing criminal charges in unrelated cases. Rodriguez has since been fired from the department, while Montalvo was first terminated last August.

Rodriguez received a temporary suspension due to his indictment on misusing public information. Following his arrest on additional charges, which include bribery and possession of child pornography, officials confirmed that Rodriguez was subsequently handed an indefinite suspension and has since resigned from the department.

Montalvo, who had already been fired in 2019 after he was arrested on domestic violence charges, was given another indefinite suspension after investigators discovered he was harassing a woman by repeatedly calling and texting her, according to the records.

Officer Juan Arenas was suspended for one day after failing to de-escalate a physical altercation, according to the documents. While responding to a call about a fight in the 2500 block S. General McMullen on July 1, a suspect stopped fighting and put up both his hands when he saw police cars arrive. Despite that, Arenas “ran straight towards him and tased him for no reason,” according to his suspension paperwork. Arenas provided no warning or advisement before deploying his stun gun.

Officer Alejandro Villafranco was suspended for two days after a disturbance with a man who lives in his neighborhood. On July 21, 2020, Villafranco approached the man at his home, flashed his badge and “abused his authority” by confronting the man in regards to a civil issue, according to the documents. Villafranco also refused to give the man his name and badge number and delayed reporting the incident to his superiors, according to the documents.

Officer Leslie Cassady agreed to a five-day suspension for a violation involving his social media activity. In June, the FBI notified SAPD that Cassady was among three officers who liked a post of a photograph depicting blood spatter on the side of a car that was captioned, “Didn’t See Any Protestors,” according to the documents. The social media activity “brought reproach and discredit on himself and the San Antonio Police Department,” investigators wrote. Cassady was initially suspended for 30 days before appealing the decision, records showed.

Officer Matthew Medina was suspended for one day after taking down and handcuffing a man who was having a mental episode. Despite the use of force, Medina failed to log the entry properly. He also did not notify his supervisors of the injuries reported by the man he took down.

Zachary Krok, who unsuccessfully tried to rebut the charges against him, was handed a three-day suspension in January, records showed. Krok was cited for inquiring on an active sexual assault investigation that listed his childhood friend as a suspect, records showed. During the investigation, officials discovered that Krok maintained his association with the suspect, despite him being a convicted felon and documented gang member. Additionally, Krok allowed civilian visitors inside the Prue Road substation and provided them a tour. Krok did not have the civilians signed in and did not conduct the proper COVID-19 protocols put in place, according to the documents.

About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.