City of San Marcos sanctioned for failing to save documents related to ‘Trump Train’ incident

Group of drivers surrounded Biden campaign bus on I-35 in 2020

SAN MARCOS, Texas – A federal judge sanctioned the City of San Marcos saying it “failed miserably” in its efforts to preserve records relating to a 2020 incident where a group of vehicles known as the “Trump Train” surrounded a Biden campaign bus on Interstate 35.

A lawsuit filed in June of 2021, alleges a group of Trump supporters in at least forty vehicles surrounded a Biden-Harris campaign bus while it traveled north from San Antonio to Austin on Interstate 35. The campaign staffers say the City of San Marcos failed to respond to their calls for assistance.

The lawsuit alleges that supporters of the Biden-Harris campaign were intimidated, harassed and attacked during campaign stops. These incidents prompted the campaign to reach out to local law enforcement agencies along the bus route to report safety concerns including several incidents of vehicles in the caravan making physical contact with the bus.

On October 30, 2020, the campaign says it reached out to the city of San Marcos for assistance when its bus was surrounded on I-35.

The lawsuit alleges the San Marcos Director of Public Safety Chase Stapp, members of the San Marcos Police Department and the San Marcos City Marshal’s Department failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the harassment that led them to ultimately cancel the San Marcos campaign stop.

In May, a motion filed by Biden campaign supporters alleged the city failed to save records of individuals employed by the city who knew of the potential actions.

Late last month, Judge Mark Lane ruled that the city of San Marcos was “negligent” in preserving those records as required. He said the court would order punitive damages to the plaintiffs, but that both sides would have to meet before Friday to determine what punishment is appropriate.

About the Author

Sean Talbot is the Assistant News Director at KSAT. He formerly served as the Assignments Manager. He joined KSAT in 2001. He graduated from Texas State with a degree in Mass Communication with a minor in Political Science. When he’s not getting our news crews out the door, he’s at home with his wife Lomisa and their two daughters Grace and Sydney.

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