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Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales dismissed all charges against Mathias Ometu, a 33-year-old jogger who was arrested by police officers who thought he was a potential domestic violence suspect.
Officers from the San Antonio Police Department stopped Ometu on Aug. 25 on Woodstone Drive near Interstate 10 after receiving a domestic violence call from a woman who said her husband choked her. Officers said Ometu matched the description she gave – a Black man wearing a green T-shirt. They arrested Ometu after he refused to provide his name.
Ometu was accused of kicking two officers and was booked on a charge of assaulting a peace officer.
“After reviewing all the evidence as well as considering all the facts and circumstances, I have decided that the just outcome is the dismissal of all charges against Mr. Ometu,” Gonzales said in a statement Tuesday.
McManus said Tuesday that the officers involved were not injured and advocated for dismissing the charges against Ometu.
“Both officers felt it important to use this incident as an opportunity for unity and understanding at a time when it is most needed,” McManus said. “It is clear that pursuing charges against Mr. Ometu would not bring us closer to our goals of building trust and creating partnerships with our community. We have invited Mr. Ometu to start a dialogue on policing in San Antonio, and that invitation will remain open.”
Amid conversations about police reform and the Black Lives Matter movement, national media outlets picked up the story of last week’s arrest. That same day, a Bexar County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Damian Lamar Daniels, a 30-year-old Black man, while responding to a mental health call.
Gonzales said there is a balance between officers’ responsibility to investigate people of interest and a citizen’s right not to give their name when no arrest has been made.
“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,” Gonzales said. “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.”