The 61-year old man who was assaulted by this police officer has spoken out. He claims Officer Rios hit him 20 – 25 times. The man suffered a fracture eye socket, broken nose, various bruises and scrapes and a knocked out tooth. According to Mr. Ara Halibian, who was on his way home from working as a security guard, he was trying to get Rios’ license plate number and insurance information. A witness saw Rios beating Halibian and called the police. Once they arrived, Rios attempted to act as if he was the one being attacked, but there were holes in his story.
Latest Incident of Aggression by San Antonio Police Officer
(TX) – Officer Dezi Rios, with the San Antonio Police Department, is in the news again. Rios was charged on July 6 for Driving while Intoxicated and Failure to Stop and Give Information. Shortly before midnight on July 5, Rios was involved in a drunk driving hit and run accident. Rios left the scene without attempting to make contact with the driver of the car he hit. “The other driver involved in the crash, a 61-year-old man, followed and confronted Rios, police said. Rios allegedly assaulted the driver during the confrontation.”
The San Antonio Police Department was the arresting agency. Additional charges of Assault may be added.
Rios has a History of Police Violence
Rios, a 38-year old trained police officer and active duty military man, assaulted a 61-year old man. But that’s nowhere near his worst offense. In 2018 Rios was involved in a shootout while off-duty. Road rage and alcohol seem to be a common theme in his incidents.
Demontae Walker was driving his wife’s cousin to work when he had the misfortune to cross paths with Rios. Officer Dezi Rios had been drinking at a police cadet dinner event. Rios cut of Mr. Walker. Both pulled into the parking lot of a strip club. That was Walker’s destination. It was where his passenger worked. Rios did not have a reason for being there.
Here’s where the stories change. Walker says Rios got out of his vehicle with a gun. Walker exited his vehicle and shot Rios in the leg multiple times when he saw Rios reach for his waistband. Then Walker says he got back in his vehicle and made the 911 call. The dispatch recording validates his story that he was making the 911 call when he was shot.
Rios says he got out of his vehicle, but was unarmed. He says that after he was shot, he went back to his vehicle to get his gun. Officer Rios then shot Mr. Walker eight times. A bullet also grazed the passenger in the head. Walker has stayed true to his story of the events. Rios’ story has changed multiple times. There was also no blood trail to show that Rios went back to his car to get his gun.
Charges Filed in Shootout
Both men were taken to the hospital. Demontae Walker “was booked on two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.” Officer Rios could have been charged with “being in possession of a firearm while under the influence of intoxicants.” That didn’t happen because Dezi Rios refused to release his medical information for the Internal Affairs investigation. The San Antonio Police Department never got a warrant for a blood draw even though Rios was in the parking lot of a bar and had come from an event where he would have been seen drinking.
Dezi Rios’ story was so unbelievable that the Grand Jury refused to issue charges and no billed case. This is pretty rare. The charges against Mr. Walker were dropped; however, he was paralyzed from the waist down from a bullet hit to his spine. Rios recovered fully. The only consequences he received were his ability to be a firearms instructor was taken away and he was given a 15-day suspension. That suspension included the notation that Rios was ‘unfit to report for duty’ because he had been drinking.
Road Rage Incident before the Shooting Incident
And that’s still not the only incident Rios was involved in. In 2017, before the shooting, Rios menaced another driver on the road. The victim in this incident was 20-year old Nathan Pezina.
Pezina told the Defenders Rios was the aggressor, repeatedly swerving his vehicle and nearly hitting the front bumper of Pezina’s vehicle.
Rios made a 911 call to get uniformed officers. He told them that Pezina had pointed a gun at him. Pezina did have a gun, but clearly states he did not point the gun at Rios. (See video) Regardless, the officer’s report says Pezina admitted to pointing a gun at Rios. Yes, that’s officers sticking up for an officer. Don’t, for a minute, believe that everything in a police report must be true.
Pezina was charged with deadly conduct and unlawful carry of a weapon.
Bexar County court records show the unlawful carry of a weapon charge was dismissed and Pezina was given one year of probation after pleading no contest to deadly conduct in Nov. 2017.
Opportunity to Get Rid of a Problem Police Officer
The San Antonio Police Department has an opportunity to get rid of Dezi Rios. For that to happen, they need the help of the District Attorney’s Office. The D.A. needs to go after Rios to the full extent of the law. It’s not uncommon for an officer’s DWI charge to be lowered to a Public Intoxication charge. That’s just a ticket and allows the officer to get out of consequences for his actions. The D.A. shouldn’t even consider it and they should do everything they can to add assault charges.
Dezi Rios is currently charged with Driving while Intoxicated and Failure to Stop and Give Information. Those are just misdemeanors, but at least they’re misdemeanors at the criminal level. A conviction would mean that Rios could no longer be a police officer. Rios has an obvious anger management issue. He may even have a drinking issue. To ensure public safety, the D.A. needs to get a criminal level conviction.