Man Claims Assault on Texas Officer Was Self-Defense

A South Side man who's accused of assaulting a school police officer at a South San Antonio Independent School District board meeting said he acted in self-defense.


SAN ANTONIO --

A South Side man who's accused of assaulting a school police officer at a South San Antonio Independent School District board meeting said he acted in self-defense.

Police arrested Homero Guevara, 65, at his home Wednesday morning, one week after the incident. He was charged with assault on a public servant and released from jail after posting a $5,000 bond.

The confrontation happened during a heated school board meeting last Wednesday and was caught on camera by a KSAT-12 News crew.

The arrest affidavit shows the officer, identified at Sgt. Guadalupe Cruz, said Guevara hit him in the shoulder with a closed fist for no reason and caused him pain. Cruz said he was on his way to quiet down another person in the audience when Guevara blocked his path, then hit him and called him a derogatory name in Spanish.

Guevara, however, said he was only protecting himself.

"He grabbed my arm and he pushed me out of the way. That's when I retaliated," Guevara said. "He never should have grabbed me."

Guevara said his arrest caught him off guard, and he wonders why, if he assaulted an officer, it took a full week for authorities to come after him.

"Why didn't they arrest me then? That's what I want to know. Why?," Guevara said.

A spokesman with SSISD declined to comment on the incident, saying it would be decided in court. In the affidavit, however, Cruz said the reason he did not arrest Guevara immediately is because he didn't want an already tense situation at the meeting to escalate.

The affidavit said Cruz felt as if the best option was to issue an arrest warrant at a later time.

Although his agency was not involved in the incident, Deputy Chief Dale Bennett, with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, said it appears to him to be a clear case of assault.

"What I saw on video, the actor who pushed the police officer, grabbed him by his shoulder and pushed him, is, by the definition, an assault," Bennett said.

An assault on an average person, Bennett said, can sometimes be considered a misdemeanor offense, but the rules change when any kind of peace officer is involved.

"Whether he pushed him on the shoulder or shoved him in the back or kicked him in the knee, an assault is an assault," Bennett said. "Where talking specifically about a police officer, it's a felony."

While Guevara's day in court has yet to come, the court of public opinion has already begun weighing in on the subject.

Dozens of people have left posts on KSAT-12's Facebook page, both supporting and condemning what Guevara did. The issue was also the subject of discussion Thursday morning on a local talk radio station.

Copyright 2011 by KSAT.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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