Seguin police officer resigns following investigation into tasing of unarmed teen
A Seguin police officer has resigned after an investigation into a tasing incident of an unarmed teenager in April.
Officer Suzann Gonzalez was responding to a call for a possible burglary on East Rosemary Street in Seguin on April 16.
Body camera audio obtained through an open-records request captures parts of the heated encounter. When she arrived on scene, she saw a group of juveniles on the roof of a home. She and the teenagers then exchanged profanities when she begins questioning them.
Officer Gonzalez is heard saying, "you think you're an f*cking man. Make me. Come make me"
Jesse Aguirre, 16, says it was his home and he was just hanging out with friends.
"She thought we were robbing the house but it was my house," said Aguirre.
Officer Gonzalez was attempting to get more information from the teens to figure out what exactly was happening when the dialogue became "inappropriate," according to Seguin Deputy Chief of Police Bruce Ure.
Aguirre says he and his friends began running away from her.
"I only ran because I thought she was going to shoot me or something," said Aguirre.
Aguirre and the group of teens were tracked down by other responding officers. In the audio recording, it appears the situation has become more calm. Officer Gonzalez then drives to that location and another argument between her and a juvenile begins.
In the recording, you can hear the teen tell her to "shut the f*ck up," and she responds with the same statement. According to Deputy Chief Ure, a supervisor advises her to back off but the confrontation continues. She was attempting to issue a citation for a curfew violation but the teens were being uncooperative with providing information.
According to Aguirre, that's when Officer Gonzalez tasered him.
"She was like did you just try to hit me? I backed up and I was like no. I just seen her aiming it at me. In the corner of my eye, aiming it and I was like hey chill and I started backing up and she just shot it," said Aguirre.
According to Deputy Chief Ure, an internal affairs investigation was launched that day into the handling of the incident. He says Officer Gonzalez spent several weeks on paid administrative leave before concluded that the officer violated multiple police department policies.
The recommendation was termination but Officer Gonzalez took a 'separation agreement.' Under the agreement, she would be placed on unpaid suspension for 5 days before resigning with an honorable discharge.
According to Deputy Chief Ure, her actions, although inappropriate, did not qualify to the level needed for a 'general' or 'dishonorable' discharge.
The deputy chief released this statement:
"It goes without saying that as an organization, we are embarrassed by the actions of this one officer. The main takeaway for our officers and staff is that we stand by our values and organizational principles and when something unfortunate like this happens, we police ourselves in a swift manner and will hold ourselves and our officers accountable each and every time. The bottom line is that this officer is no longer a member of our organization and the swiftness of our investigation is an indication on how serious we investigate and respond to these types of sustained allegations."