San Antonio police officers fired, suspended after ‘losing’ detained man’s money

SAPD officials say the incident is under criminal investigation

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police have opened a criminal investigation after a man who was detained by officers with “a whole bunch of money” only had $34 returned to him when he was released, suspension records show.

The department fired Officer Joe Castaneda and suspended Officer Bryan Aguilar for 10 days in connection with the incident that occurred on July 7, according to the records obtained by KSAT 12 News.

That day, the officers were dispatched to a shooting call at the Studio 6 Hotel located on Highway 281.

Castaneda then detained a man who was found in the parking lot hotel. After detaining the man, he allegedly told Aguilar, “He had probably just went to the bank ... he has a whole bunch of money and a knife,” according to the suspension document.

Castaneda’s body camera showed him “handling in excess of $200″ that belonged to the man, according to the records. Aguilar was also seen accepting a cell phone, a military identification card and cash from Castaneda.

Records show the man was charged with deadly conduct and unlawful carry of a weapon and given deferred adjudication in October.

When he went to retrieve his property the day after he was taken into custody, he was only documented to have $34. The man alleged he was missing $4,400, a Zippo lighter, a silver money clip, and a Gerber brand pocket knife.

Like Castaneda, Aguilar was initially given an indefinite suspension for failing to handle the man’s belongings, but San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus later agreed to reduce the discipline to a 10-day suspension. The reasoning behind the reduction is unclear.

Neither officer has been charged in connection with the case, but police officials confirmed on Friday morning that “the case is being criminally investigated.”

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