By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Please don't forget that the rodeo season is coming upon us, and the SPCA will again launch a cruelty protest against it.
Well, he was dead wrong here. When I stopped behind Mr. Garcia, I could not even see who was in the truck. To say I did this because Mr. Garcia is Hispanic is ridiculous. Before waking Mr. Garcia, I said hello to his daughter, who was standing in the back leaning forward between the seats. Even as I met with Mr. Garcia, his heritage had no effect on my actions. I never asked for "identity papers"--I asked for his ID, in English and Spanish: "Tiene ID?" I never choked him or hit him in the head. I "hauled" him out of the car only after his continuous attempts to start his vehicle and drive off while appearing to be intoxicated. As I reached in to stop his hand from reaching the key, he struck me on the forearm. Why did I dress the assault down? So a jail sergeant would not make me charge him with assault on a public servant. You see, by the time I made the arrest report, I was aware of the diabetic claim. The realization that his actions were indicative of a disoriented diabetic, along with the fact that I never smelled alcohol on him, made me understand what may have happened.
And yes, I did make a mistake on the arrest report saying he resisted when he was being arrested for failure to ID. He was being arrested for sleeping in public, a violation of a city ordinance, which does in fact require a person to provide his real name, date of birth, and address. Had he done so, the procedures of warn, cite, arrest would have been possible. But you cannot document a warning when you don't know to whom you are speaking.
The arrest report lists the charges in chronological sequence, just as it is required to do: 1. sleeping in public, 2. failure to ID, 3. resisting arrest. Had I known Mr. Garcia was a diabetic, things most certainly would have been different. I would have perceived his actions as what they were (disorientation because of a diabetic episode) rather than as an assault on my person. Had Mr. Garcia been wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace, I would have been more aware of a possible medical reason for his actions.
Mr. Garcia's children were never exposed to the Mace I used. I had my back to the truck, and Mr. Garcia was at least eight feet away from the truck when the Mace was used. Mr. Garcia has not been tried on the city charges of sleeping in public and failure to ID because his lawyer asked for a continuance the day before his resisting-arrest trial. The lawyer did not want to walk into the county court with the convictions he knows he is going to have. Mr. Garcia goes to trial on the city charges on December 11. If the attorney cannot find a reason to delay that trial, it will be held at that time. I will certainly be there.
And where was Jim's article about my being the recipient of a Life Saving Award for saving a jumper from the 21st floor of the Dallas Grand Hotel? I went out on the ledge with that man, and with the help of one of my supervisors, stopped him from jumping. That jumper was an African-American, just like my son-in-law. Guess I am a real racist--darn. By the way, Jim, I graduated from high school in Madrid, Spain, a country where the culture is deep in the heritage that makes our Western Hemisphere "Hispanics" what they are today. I loved that country and her people.