The man was apparently still drunk from an overnight bender when he called 911 just after noon on March 6 with a curious emergency: a sheriff’s deputy had offered to drive him home from a car wreck, asked him for sexual favors along the way, and was now circling the man’s apartment complex searching for him.
“I had a cop that had arrested me but now he’s trying to fuck me and now he stalking me cause he let me go,” the man told a San Antonio Police Department dispatcher, according to 911 call excerpts quoted in Bexar County Sheriff’s Office disciplinary records. “I’m trying to hide…he wanted sexual favors from me, but I’m not gonna do it.”
After an internal investigation, the sheriff’s office suspended Deputy Michael Rodriguez, a 15-year veteran of the department, for 30 days because of his interaction with a drunk-driving suspect he chauffeured home, as Kens5 first reported this week
. BCSO spokesman James Keith told us that’s actually the strictest punishment the office can hand out in Rodriguez’s case. “At this point, there are only policy violations,” Keith said in an email. He told us that, under the county’s collective-bargaining agreement with the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County, “the punishment he received was the maximum we could give.”
Perhaps the man was so drunk and confused that you can blame his alarming version of the encounter with Rodriguez—which, according to sheriff’s office records, the deputy himself admits devolved into a discussion about group sex—on one big misunderstanding. Rodriguez, who’s still appealing his punishment, declined comment through the deputy sheriff’s association.
But Rodriguez’s behavior that day was unusual for at least a few reasons, according to BCSO’s administrative investigation into the complaint against the deputy.
Rodriguez responded to the scene late that morning after the man crashed his car near 281 and Guest Road. According to sheriff’s office records, a witness on scene claims he told Rodriguez that the man reeked of alcohol and was clearly drunk—the witness even took the man’s keys and refused to give them back. The driver told the deputy he was diabetic and was having problems with his blood sugar. After an ambulance came and confirmed that his blood sugar was elevated, but not dangerously so, the man then admitted that he’d been drinking, according to the investigation report.
It’s unclear, then, why Rodriguez failed to take a statement from the witness, wrote up a crash report that didn’t even mention the driver appearing to be intoxicated, and then offered the suspect a “courtesy ride” back to his apartment. Rodriguez even admits that once inside the cruiser, the discussion turned to sex.
The internal investigation report by the sheriff’s office states that while it’s not unusual for deputies to offer people courtesy rides, “It is a common practice for safety reasons to notify the dispatcher that you are providing a courtesy ride, the location you’re traveling to, and the starting odometer mileage,” none of which Rodriguez did. Rodriguez, who in his incident report on the crash didn’t even mention that the man might have been drunk or that a witness had to take the keys away from him, told investigators that he “did not feel comfortable pursuing an arrest for DWI due to his inexperience with diabetes, his blood sugar level and claim of medical complications,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Rodriguez told investigators that while they were waiting for a truck to tow the man’s car, he told the deputy that he was returning from the home of a woman he’d hoped, but failed, to have sex with the night before. “Dang, you didn’t get any and now your truck is being towed,” Rodriguez says he told the man. “You’re having a really bad day.” Rodriguez says the man then showed him a photo of a topless woman on his phone and asked if he’d ever had a threesome. “Deputy Rodriguez told him ‘yes’ but he was too old for that stuff now,” according to the report. Rodriguez told investigators the man even grabbed for his groin. He said that when they got to the apartment, the man was angry because he didn’t have his keys to get inside (Rodriguez failed to retrieve the keys from the witness who took them from the man at the crash site to keep him from drunkenly driving off).
The man’s 911 call tells a different story. BCSO’s internal investigation contains excepts from that call: “I got pulled over right now and they towed my truck and this guy wants some sexual shit from me… I just left from a fucking party this guy pulled me over, got my shit towed he asking me so what’s up you wanna party you want me to suck your dick, I’m like what the fuck what the fuck he says I'll suck your dick, where you at?”
According to the report, the man told SAPD officers through slurred speech that after he got out of the cruiser, Rodriguez lingered at the apartment complex and drove around looking for him. The report says GPS data shows Rodriguez’s cruiser slowly circling the area and is consistent with the man’s allegations that Rodriguez “continued to drive slowly around the complex looking for him after he ran away from the vehicle.” (Rodriguez told investigators he was just making sure the guy was able to get into his apartment.)
The sheriff’s office ultimately suspended Rodriguez for poor job performance and conduct that harms or has “an adverse effect” on the office—mainly because he admitted to talking about sex with the man. Still, from reading the sheriff’s investigation report, it’s not clear how much weight the office gives the most alarming allegation against the deputy—that he took an obviously drunk guy home, propositioned him for sex, and then stalked him outside of his apartment when he refused. In their report, sheriff's investigators say that when they first interviewed Rodriguez about the allegations he was "not completely truthful with the information he provided." (BCSO spokesman Keith told us the man isn’t cooperating with officials, which he says has “caused a delay in the criminal investigation.”)
Rodriguez’s order of suspension simply states “your behavior is undesirable and unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the Sheriff’s Office.” It also orders him to avoid engaging in “sexually explicit conversations regarding propositions of sexual activity while on duty.”
See the whole report below:
See related PDF