Detention Officer Arrested
(TX) – Deputy Peter Martinez, with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested on Tuesday evening after he assaulted an inmate. It’s unknown if a code was called, but at least one other officer came upon the scene. After supervisors reviewed the surveillance video, they determined that the inmate said something to Deputy Martinez. There is no audio and what was said has not been released. Deputy Martinez then attacked the inmate, assaulting him, and causing bodily injury.
The investigators spoke to the inmate who then decided to file charges against Deputy Martinez. A statement was taken, charges filed, and the investigators, along with other deputies, arrested Deputy Peter Martinez.
Criminal Charges Filed
34-year old Peter Martinez was assigned to the Bexar County Jail. He was a deputy who performed the functions of a jailer. Martinez had been working in the jail for five years prior to his assault on the inmate. He was arrested for Assault-Bodily Injury and Official Oppression, both of which are misdemeanors. His bond was set at $20,000. No information has been given on whether he has bonded out. The Sheriff’s Office has begun the termination process.
Bexar County Dodges a Bullet
It seems the citizens of Bexar County just metaphorically dodged a bullet. Deputy Peter Martinez had been selected to move to patrol as a law enforcement officer. He was waiting for the transfer orders to come through. Fortunately, his inability to control his temper was discovered before he was promoted into that position.
Was There a Riot at the Bexar County Jail?
I have been given information that there was a possible riot at the Bexar County Jail on August 29. First, let’s look at what the Texas definition of a riot is. According to Codes.FindLaw.com,
(a) For the purpose of this section, “riot” means the assemblage of seven or more persons resulting in conduct which:
(1) creates an immediate danger of damage to property or injury to persons;
(2) substantially obstructs law enforcement or other governmental functions or services; or
(3) by force, threat of force, or physical action deprives any person of a legal right or disturbs any person in the enjoyment of a legal right.
Supposedly the incident occurred in BJ which is a maximum security unit. The inmates in that unit are supposed to be in restraints and there are supposed to be two officers on duty. Due to the severe staffing shortage, I’m told there was only one officer assigned to that location. I’m also told the inmates did not have restraints on.
A door was left open between the officers’ station and the day room. The officers’ station has the controls that unlock the cell doors. An inmate was able to enter the officers’ station and attack the officer. The inmate opened the locks on the cell doors and inmates poured into the day room and became destructive. One inmate was “shanked” and was taken to the hospital.
Question for Sheriff Salazar
Sheriff Salazar, you frequently speak about transparency. Would you let us know if the above incident did in fact happen? And if it did, why haven’t you given information to the media to let them know like you do when an officer is arrested? Did it meet the criteria of a riot? If not, why not? Also, if it did happen, what are you doing about the staffing shortage that is putting officers in such grave danger? Do you have emergency plans in place if a more serious riot were to occur?
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is run with taxpayer dollars. That means the citizens of Bexar County deserve answers.