The owner of the bar where City Councilman Alan Warrick (D2) claims someone drugged one of his drinks said that Warrick, who was with “a female friend,” appeared to be drunk at the bar, and that the staff had offered to order him a ride home.

“When we noticed he was intoxicated the staff had cut him off,” said Justin Vitek, who owns On the Rocks, the basement bar where Warrick was on Thursday night. “We then tried numerous times to offer him an Uber home but he declined.”

Warrick was found asleep on a park bench just outside City Hall early Friday morning. He claims he had only three drinks at On the Rocks the night before, and that someone must have “slipped some type of drug into one of my drinks.”

“This morning I woke up at City Hall with no recollection of what happened,” according to a post he wrote on his Facebook re-election campaign page.

Vitek said he and his staff are reviewing the bar’s surveillance cameras to see if there is any evidence of someone tampering with Warrick’s drink.

“We don’t take this kind of [accusation] lightly,” Vitek said. “In the [two] and a half years we’ve been open we’ve never had anyone come to us saying they have been drugged from anyone at our establishment.

“It’s a very serious accusation,” Vitek continued. “To throw a small business owner under the bus like that is unacceptable. We’ve worked very hard to get our business to be successful just for somebody to throw out that they may have been drugged at our establishment. I’m not saying it is true and I’m not saying it isn’t true. But we’re working with our lawyer to take the precautionary steps.”

Warrick said he did not drive Thursday night, and security guards found him sleeping on the bench outside City Hall. After that, he walked to the Marriott River Walk, where he secured a cab ride home, and later attended the funeral of the fallen San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem, who died while fighting a blaze last week.

A campaign email blast titled “It Could Happen to Anyone” carried the same explanation given by Warrick in his Facebook post. Warrick wrote that he opted not to visit a doctor Friday morning, and that he felt fine.

On the Facebook post and in his email blast, the councilman said that he wanted to share the experience as a lesson for other people to prevent such an incident from happening to them. He provided a link with tips on how people can protect themselves and their friends from date-rape drugs.

“I have read about this type of thing happening, but never thought it could happen to me,” Warrick wrote.

Warrick told the Rivard Report that he plans to get checked out by his doctor as early as this weekend.

“This is not a hangover from too much liquor,” he said. “Of course, it’s strange to literally wake up next to my [City Council] parking space.”

This isn’t the first incident involving Warrick and alcohol. In 2002, while living in Florida, he pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated. He again pleaded guilty to the same charge in 2004, and during that incident he reportedly fled the scene, according to police reports.

Warrick said some people who have publicly criticized his social activities recently are backers of attorney William “Cruz” Shaw, who he he’s facing in the June 10 District 2 runoff election.

“I’ve been called out by people and they’re usually supporters of Mr. Shaw,” Warrick said. “People who know me well know I’m a professional. I’m working hard for District 2. [Critics] are making an issue out of a non-issue.”

Warrick acknowledged that a few people could be wondering why he was at a bar on a week night, before the funeral services for a fallen firefighter and during a tough re-election campaign. He said he wanted to celebrate the birthday of one of the friends he was with Thursday night.

“I definitely don’t want to shy away from whatever people think,” he said.

Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) said he could not attest to claims about Warrick’s drinking habits. His experiences around Warrick are limited to work, and he has only known Warrick to be a “professional colleague.”

“I am glad he is safe,” Treviño said.

Warrick suggested the incident Thursday night may have been the result of political dirty tricks. That night he had his City-issued identification badge, which would have permitted him admission to his fourth-floor office, on his person.

“I don’t know why I didn’t end up going to my office to sleep on the couch there unless someone wanted to see me asleep outside City Hall,” he said.

Shaw told the Rivard Report he learned about the incident late Friday afternoon, but declined to comment about it “because I don’t know for sure, so I don’t want to hurt the individual.”

Shaw did, however, suggest that Warrick step down.

“From what I hear he needs to take care of himself and his family,” he said. “This is a sad, scary situation and he should resign and get himself out of this race to focus on himself and his family.”

Greg Jefferson, a spokesman for Shaw’s campaign, said that Warrick’s allegation of political dirty tricks is “absurd.”

“This is not some T.V. melodrama, this is real life and District 2 is a community with real needs,” Jefferson said. “Councilman Warrick has absolutely failed to meet those needs. Clearly the councilman is troubled and as Cruz said last night, we believe he should withdraw from this race and get the help he needs.”

Colin Strother, Warrick’s campaign strategist, said that Shaw has been practically invisible in District 2 after the May 6 general election, and suggested that Shaw is not really concerned with the district’s issues, such as crime.

“Based on the fact that Shaw has missed every neighborhood meeting and forum since the runoff began, we already knew he doesn’t care about crime or crime victims,” Strother said. “I hope this [incident] makes him feel like a big man.”

Jefferson responded to Strother’s statement as follows: “The Warrick campaign is trying to divert attention [from] the fact that District 2’s Council member spent Thursday night passed out in front of City Hall. If you’re Councilman Warrick, you probably don’t want voters thinking about that for too long.”

Edmond Ortiz, a lifelong San Antonian, is a freelance reporter/editor who has worked with the San Antonio Express-News and Prime Time Newspapers.

Rocío Guenther has called San Antonio home for more than a decade. Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, she bridges two countries, two cultures, and two languages. Rocío has demonstrated experience in...