SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio police officer was attacked Tuesday morning while confronting a suspected burglar who was dragging his 9-year-old daughter down a South Side street, police said.
Alexander Garza, 42, is facing charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer and criminal trespass for incidents that occurred around the 200 block of West Burcham Avenue just before 10 a.m.
Sgt. Michelle Ramos, a spokeswoman for the San Antonio Police Department, said officers received a call about a suspicious person in the area and that one of the responding officers, who has been on the force for nearly two decades, approached Garza as he dragged his daughter behind him.
Garza became combative with the officer as she tried to break the child away from his grip and repeatedly struck the officer, Ramos said. According to police, the officer deployed her stun gun on Garza, but it was ineffective. Ramos said the officer suffered a concussion and facial fractures from the attack.
Charges against Garza were upgraded from assault of a peace officer due to the severity of the injuries the officer sustained, Ramos said.
According to police, Garza lives on the street where the assault occurred and had broken into someone's home earlier and assaulted the homeowner. According to authorities, the man brought his child along for the incident.
Ramos said the suspect "did not appear to be in the right frame of mind."
A homeowner's surveillance cameras captured the moment officers apprehended Garza after the alleged assault. In the video, he's seen walking hand in hand with a child before a San Antonio police patrol unit pulls up, officers get out of the car and he puts his hands up and surrenders himself to authorities. The child is heard screaming throughout the arrest.
The child was taken to San Antonio Police Headquarters after the incident and was later taken by Child Protective Services.
Police said it's possible Garza may be connected to other recent crimes in the area. Ramos said investigators did not immediately locate any criminal history for Garza.
Cassandra Cantu witnessed the takedown. She said that while she was scared for her own safety, she was afraid for Garza's daughter.
“I just wanted to take her in the house to make sure she was OK," Cantu said of Garza's child. "But I don’t want to mess with evidence. I also don’t want to be brought into this mess."
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