SAPD officers arrested in recent months suspended, fired, records show

Officers were arrested in separate DWI incidents

Three San Antonio police officers were fired or otherwise temporarily suspended after arrests in separate DWI incidents earlier this year. The officers include (from left) James Nicholson, Dezi Rios, and Shane Nagy. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Three San Antonio police officers who were arrested in separate incidents earlier this year have been fired or suspended, according to newly obtained disciplinary records.

The San Antonio Police Department released June and July suspension records earlier this week, months after they were first requested by KSAT 12 News. The department did not provide a reason for the delay.

Officers Dezi Rios, Shane Nagy and James Nicholson were named in the records. All three were arrested in separate drunk driving incidents. Rios and Nagy have been temporarily suspended while their criminal cases proceed, while Nicholson was indefinitely suspended, the records showed.

Nicholson was arrested for driving while intoxicated on Jan. 28, when officers pulled him over for multiple traffic violations on La Cantera Parkway. Nicholson was observed speeding, driving too close to other cars and driving in the shoulder lane, according to the records.

Though he refused to perform a sobriety test, he did provide a breath specimen, which recorded his blood alcohol concentration between .097 and .103.

Nicholson was also cited for having a firearm in his possession during the incident, which led to him being charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon. The investigation revealed Nicholson was carrying a Smith & Wesson handgun, which was unapproved and unregistered with the department. Nicholson’s next court hearing is set for March 25, 2022, records showed.

Six months after Nicholson’s arrest, Nagy was arrested for DWI in the 17700 block of Highway 281. Nagy has been with the police department for 25 years, employment records showed. His next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 13, records showed.

On July 5, Rios was taken into custody after he allegedly fled from a crash. He is charged with DWI and failure to stop and provide information, records showed.

The other driver involved involved in the crash, 61-year-old Ara Halibian, said he followed Rios to confront him and receive his information after the wreck. Halibian said Rios attacked him, breaking his nose and resulting in visible injuries to his face and body. Despite Halibian’s claims, Rios has yet to be charged with assault, records showed.

Rios has a documented history of road rage issues. Those incidents include a near-fatal shootout in the parking lot of a Northwest Side strip club in May 2018, in which Rios and another man shot each other a combined 14 times.

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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.