Mistrial granted for two former San Antonio police officers accused of kicking suspect’s door in, beating him

Thomas Villareal and Carlos Castro were tried together for aggravated assault

SAN ANTONIO – A Bexar County judge granted a mistrial Friday in the trial of two San Antonio police officers accused of beating a man after kicking in the door of his East Side home in January 2020.

Thomas Villareal and Carlos Castro were on trial together for aggravated assault, a charge that comes with a punishment of up to life in prison.

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

During opening statements on Sept. 29, defense attorney Jason Goss argued the pair were justified in repeatedly punching Eric Wilson as they arrested him after an attempted traffic stop.

The incident also got them fired from the department.

Goss said he made the mistrial motion because of a hearing that took place outside of the jury’s presence on Thursday afternoon.

The state had expert witnesses who believed his clients acted reasonably, Goss said.

He said if he had known about those witnesses before the start of the trial, he would have tried the case differently.

“When you’re trying and defending police officers for your use of force case, the fact that the state’s own witnesses believed that it was reasonable is pretty important information,” said Goss.

KSAT spoke with the officers on their way out of the courthouse. The officers said they were not ready to talk, but they were ready for this case to be behind them.

The Bexar County District Attorney’s office does have the option to retry this case.

District Attorney Joe D. Gonzales released the following statement following the mistrial in the 379th District Court.

“It is our intent to proceed with prosecution of these cases. Because the cases remain pending, I can offer no other comment,” Gonzales said.

San Antonio Police referred to Chief William McManus’ original statement on the case, saying “SAPD will continue to hold its officers to the highest standard of conduct and impose discipline when warranted in order to maintain the trust and confidence of our community.”

According to a city spokesperson, Castro and Villareal are indefinitely suspended and appealing the decision.

About the Authors

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.

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