Sources: San Antonio councilman suspect in hit-and-run

Police found Clayton Perry lying in his backyard, moaning with a cut on his head and smelling of alcohol

San Antonio Councilman Clayton Perry is being investigated for his possible role in a hit-and-run crash Sunday night near his North Side home, sources tell KSAT.

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Councilman Clayton Perry is being investigated for his possible role in a hit-and-run crash Sunday night near his North Side home, sources tell KSAT.

A San Antonio Police officer found the District 10 Councilman lying in his backyard, injured and smelling of alcohol, after a witness to the crash followed the offending vehicle, according to a redacted SAPD report obtained by KSAT Investigates Monday.

Though the report redacted the suspect’s name, date of birth, and address, law enforcement sources confirmed to KSAT it was Perry, who lives a half mile from the crash scene at Jones Maltsberger and Redland Road.

However, the responding SAPD officer appeared to be initially unable to confirm Perry had been driving the vehicle and left Perry’s location without testing his sobriety or arresting him.

But after later speaking with the witness who described seeing an older white man get out of the vehicle, wearing similar clothing to what the officer saw Perry wearing, the officer wrote “it was believed“ Perry had been involved in the crash and had left the scene before giving his information to the other driver.

The officer listed the offense as failure to stop and give information in a crash with damages worth more than $200, a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days jail and a $2,000 fine.

Without the ability to prove Perry was intoxicated while behind the wheel, though, the case will not be investigated as a DWI.

As of Monday night, however, there was no record of an arrest.

A KSAT reporter who went to Perry’s home Monday night found a slightly dented garage door, which was consistent with the “contact” between the door and vehicle mentioned in the police report. When the reporter knocked, no one answered the door.

The councilman’s Instagram page also shows him in a black Jeep Wrangler matching the description in the report.

Police provided the redacted incident report by email at approximately 5:30 p.m. Monday but did not respond to KSAT’s follow-up questions.

City staff stonewalled further attempts by KSAT to confirm Perry’s identity and referred all questions to San Antonio Police.

Perry’s office did not respond to requests for comment from the councilman.

The crash report

At approximately 9:10 p.m. Sunday night, according to the SAPD report, the driver of a Honda Civic told police a black Jeep Wrangler took the turn from Jones Maltsberger onto Redland Road too wide and crashed into them head-on while they waited for the light in the left-hand turn lane.

According to the Civic driver, the Wrangler then left the scene, leaving behind the Civic, which the officer wrote sustained “major damage.”

A witness who saw the crash reportedly followed the Jeep to where it stopped and then returned to the crash scene to tell the driver of the Civic, who relayed it to the responding officer.

When the officer checked the location, which matched the address obtained from running the Jeep’s license plate, he found the vehicle parked in the driveway where it had contacted the garage door. The Jeep was unoccupied but still running, with the driver-side window down and the back gate left open.

No one answered the door of the home, the officer wrote, but he heard a moaning sound from the backyard, where he found a man in a black Polo shirt and light khaki shorts lying on the ground with a cut on his head.

The officer wrote that he observed Perry “to be slow to answer questions, confused about recent events of the evening, and once he was standing was very unsteady on his feet.” The officer called for an EMS unit but wrote that Perry was ultimately allowed to refuse medical care.

When the officer questioned Perry, though, about who had been driving, if he knew the Jeep had been involved in a crash, and “other general questions about the events that evening,” the councilman either refused to answer or provided vague answers, according to the report.

The officer wrote he could smell “an odor consistent with alcoholic beverages” coming from Perry, who said he was not driving the vehicle that night.

Based on the information he had at the time, the officer wrote that he left the location without further action.

After several attempted calls, the officer wrote that the witness to the crash called him back. The witness told the officer he had seen the Jeep leave the scene and decided to follow the vehicle home.

Based on the preliminary investigation, the officer wrote “it was believed” Perry was involved in a crash on a public roadway and had left without providing any identifying information to the other driver.

KSAT is requesting the body camera and patrol vehicle video from the incident.

Perry has been on City Council since 2017.

The North Side councilman is typically seen as the most conservative member of the council, known for his focus on city basics like infrastructure and police.

He won his 2021 nonpartisan election to the council with 54% of the vote, though no other candidate received more than 30%. His current term is set to end next year.

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About the Authors:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

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.