San Antonio Chief Questions How Repeat Offender Was at Large

In a startling incident that has raised questions about the criminal justice system’s handling of repeat offenders, a dangerous suspect with a lengthy criminal record shot two San Antonio Police Department officers on Thursday evening. San Antonio Police Department Chief Bill McManus took to social media to express his concerns about how the suspect, identified as Jesse Garcia, was able to roam freely despite a string of crimes and outstanding warrants.

The incident unfolded around 5 p.m. when officers responded to reports of a wanted suspect, Garcia, leaving his apartment complex armed with a long gun. The suspect, accompanied by an unidentified driver, noticed police trailing them and immediately opened fire, striking one of the officers. Fleeing the scene, Garcia and his accomplice carjacked another vehicle before proceeding to another apartment complex. There, they shot and critically wounded a second officer before barricading themselves within the complex.

Jesse Garcia Jr. booking photo (Bexar County)

Chief McManus voiced his astonishment on social media, questioning how Garcia had been out on bail for nearly a year while facing multiple charges, and despite being re-arrested and wanted on three separate warrants. McManus expressed frustration over the fact that Garcia wasn’t in custody and his bonds hadn’t been increased, leaving citizens wondering about the gaps in the justice system.

“One of the concerning aspects surrounding the shooting of our [officers] last night…the [suspect] was out on 2 bonds for almost a [year], despite committing more crimes & being re-arrested & wanted on 3 [different] warrants,” McManus posted to X the next morning. “Why wasn’t he in jail? Why weren’t his bonds increased? People want to know.”

Despite the District Attorney’s office not immediately responding to inquiries, Christian Henricksen, the first assistant of the DA’s office, clarified that judges determine bond amounts based on factors such as the severity of the crime and criminal history. Henricksen emphasized that holding suspects without bail is an uncommon practice and is generally reserved for cases involving capital murder and domestic violence.

Garcia’s criminal history traces back to 2019, including firearm possession and unauthorized vehicle use charges. This year alone, he faced additional charges for burglary of vehicles and evading arrest. He had previously been imprisoned in 2019 for firearm possession and was arrested in 2022 for drug possession and unauthorized vehicle use. Despite these incidents, he managed to post bail each time.

Garcia’s recent arrest for shooting the officers has led to a $1 million bond for each aggravated assault charge against the police officers. The incident has ignited a broader conversation about the intricacies of the justice system, the role of bond recommendations, and the factors contributing to the release of repeat offenders with violent tendencies.

Fox News


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