Trial set to begin for 2 former SAPD officers charged with aggravated assault

Carlos Castro and Thomas Villarreal face up to life in prison if found guilty

SAN ANTONIO – Two former San Antonio police officers are heading for trial.

Carlos Castro and Thomas Villarreal will be tried together in their aggravated assault case.

The two were arrested and charged in Dec. 2021 due to an excessive use of force incident on Jan. 16, 2020.

That night, officers pulled over a car traveling 48 mph on North Walters Street, where the speed limit is 35 mph. The car also failed to signal prior to turning onto Lamar Street, police said.

Officers activated their emergency lights and approached the car, which had pulled into a driveway.

Eric Wilson, who was driving the car, got out of the vehicle and walked away from officers, who noted that the vehicle was emitting a strong odor of marijuana, according to the police report.

According to the report, another man, Eddie Wilson, came out of the house to talk to the officers. Officers told Eddie Wilson to stay away and warned him of hindering their arrest of Eric Wilson.

As officers detained Eddie Wilson, Eric Wilson walked into the home and closed the door on the police officers, according to the police report.

Villarreal and Castro kicked in the door “in an attempt to force their way in,” according to the suspension document. The officers “entered a private residence without consent, without a warrant and without exigent circumstances for the purposes of effecting a misdemeanor arrest,” administrators wrote.

The officers said when they got inside the home, Eric Wilson continued to resist arrest, so Villarreal unsuccessfully deployed his taser, according to the police report.

As officers struggled with the suspect, Castro and Villarreal feared Eric Wilson might reach for a weapon, so they punched him repeatedly until they were able to handcuff him. Both officers had Eric Wilson’s blood on their bodies, according to the police report. Villarreal sustained a bruised hand from the incident.

In Eric Wilson’s mugshot, injuries were visible around both of his eyes.

Two officers were fired after beating Eric Wilson, who was arrested on drug charges in January. (KSAT)

Villarreal and Castro were fired in July 2020 after the department’s internal affairs unit investigated their conduct.

Testimony will begin Friday morning in the 379th District Court.

If convicted, the former officers could face up to life in prison.

About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

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.