SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio police officer accused of holding his wife and children at gunpoint will keep his peace officer's license, as part of a plea deal signed in court last month.
Daniel Lopez, 44, has remained on administrative leave since his July 2013 arrest at a home in the 100 block of Whitecliff Drive. Bexar County First Assistant District Attorney Woodrow Halstead said Tuesday the office reduced the charges against Lopez after his family members changed their stories about the incident.
"We were left with what was really our only option of pleading to the reduced offense for disorderly conduct," said Halstead.
Lopez was originally charged with first degree felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of deadly conduct, after he was taken into custody following a dispute inside his home July 4, 2013. Police at the time said Lopez had struck his wife in the head with a gun, then pointed it at two children inside the home. Lopez eventually surrendered without incident after what was described as a 20-minute standoff with police.
Lopez had already been stripped of his service weapon and placed on administrative duty following a June 2013 incident. In that case, police officers told KENS 5 Lopez fired a gun at his home.
"There are deeper issues here than someone going off like that," then-Police Chief William McManus said at the time of Lopez's arrest.
Lopez was given one day of probation and a $100 fine after pleading "no contest" to a Class C misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, according to his plea deal.
"I would have definite concerns about him remaining on the police force."
Woodrow Halstead, Bexar County First Assistant District Attorney
The plea deal struck out any reference to a gun or family violence, meaning Lopez instead pleaded no contest to "making an obscene gesture".
A woman who answered the door at Lopez's home declined to comment Tuesday then slammed the front door.
Lopez's attorney, Roy Barrera Jr., did not respond to the I-Team's request for comment.
Lopez's plea prevents the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement from suspending his license, since the plea is not above a Class C misdemeanor and does not mention family violence.
"Based on the evidence I've seen in the offense reports, I would have definite concerns about him remaining on the police force," said Halstead, who said its up to SAPD to make that decision.
Interim Chief Anthony Trevino has several more weeks to decide if Lopez will return to duty.
If Trevino terminates Lopez, the officer could go work for another department.
Trevino declined to be interviewed for this story.
Tuesday afternoon SAPD spokesman Sgt. Javier Salazar released the following statement:
We're aware of the state of the current case and are weighing all facts in considering administrative action.