Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales has dropped felony assault charges against Mathias Ometu, the Black man detained by police last week after they mistakenly identified him as a suspect in a domestic violence case.
After Ometu declined to give his name to officers, they handcuffed him during the encounter, which took place last Tuesday. The 33-year-old insurance adjuster struggled as police tried to force him into the back of a patrol SUV, allegedly kicking officers.
He was jailed for two days before posting bond.
In a statement to Texas Public Radio reporter Joey Palacios, Gonzales said his examination of the evidence and circumstances led him to believe the "just outcome is the dismissal of all charges against Mr. Ometu."
BREAKING: Assault charges against Mathais Ometu, a Black jogger arrested by SAPD, have been dropped.— Joey Palacios 😷 (@Joeycules) September 1, 2020
Ometu was not the suspect officers were looking for on Aug 25. The officers said Ometu kicked them after being handcuffed as they tired to place him in a patrol car. @TPRNews pic.twitter.com/WlEMW9lFgN
“It is important to note the officers involved in this case have requested dismissal as well,” Gonzales said. “In this case, the officers did have a description that led them to believe that Mr. Ometu may have been the suspect they were seeking. However, Mr. Ometu was not that person and did not have an obligation to identify himself or make a statement. Ultimately, the officers agree that dismissal is in the interest of justice.”
In a separate statement obtained by the radio station, SAPD Chief William McManus said both officers were assaulted but uninjured. The pair don't want Ometu to suffer adverse consequences from the encounter.
"Both officers felt it was important to use this incident as an opportunity for unity and understanding at a time when it is most needed," McManus said.
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