This story has been updated.

Clayton Perry said Thursday afternoon he has no plans to resign from the San Antonio City Council, deflecting questions about whether he was drinking the night he was found lying in his yard disoriented, with a cut on his forehead after allegedly leaving the scene of an accident.

On Thursday evening, SAPD released a redacted portion of the body camera footage from that night.

YouTube video

The footage shows the District 10 councilman evading the officer’s questions and struggling to get inside his house. Perry used several credit cards to attempt to gain access as though the door had scanned access like those in hotels.

The officer repeatedly asked Perry who was driving his vehicle – if it wasn’t the councilman. One of Perry’s responses: “Well, there’s a lot of acorns living here tonight and….”

It was an apparent reference to what sounded like falling acorns in his yard.

The officer asks for clarification. “There’s a lot of acorns living here tonight? That has nothing to do with my questions.”

“Nope,” Perry says. “Not me.”

At the end of the video, the officer told Perry, “Do not drive anymore tonight.”

The officer “did not have enough probable cause to make an arrest” at the time, SAPD said in a statement released with the video. “At the end of this call, the officer listed Mr. Perry as a suspect and the case was immediately assigned to a detective for investigation.”

Speaking to reporters at the Bexar County Courthouse, Perry said he will get back to work.

“I’ve got a job to do, and yes, I’m going to be going back to City Council,” Perry said after turning himself in for failure to stop and give information, a class B misdemeanor, and posting bail.

“I was involved in an accident that night I don’t remember,” he said, but he would not comment on whether he had been drinking that night.

“There’s a process that needs to be gone through,” he said, “and I’m going to trust that process.”

Asked if he has a drinking problem, Perry said, “No, I don’t think so. But again, that’s something that I’m going to be reevaluating.”

According to the arrest affidavit obtained by KSAT, Perry was slurring his words and had difficulty standing to speak with the officer.

“The Defendant said many times he ‘had a good time’ but would never elaborate on what that meant,” according to the affidavit. Perry would not provide details on where he was or what happened. He claimed he had not been driving the Jeep, which was left running in the driveway and appeared to have made contact with the garage door.

“The Defendant’s clothing was disheveled and his zipper was down on his shorts showing his underwear. The Defendant’s shorts were wet as if he urinated on himself.”

An additional charge of driving while intoxicated will be filed with the District Attorney’s Office, police said. “The district attorney will review the facts and determine the best course of action.”

The officer who spoke with Perry did not perform a sobriety test that night.

Earlier Thursday, Perry’s attorney, David Christian, said he didn’t “see a dramatic issue here,” noting that the charge is a class B misdemeanor and “we’ve been told that nobody’s hurt.

“It seems unusual,” Christian went on, “everything about it, quite frankly, the way that it’s being handled right now. But we want to handle it properly. And so we’re not running from anything and we look forward to seeing the evidence.”

Councilman Clayton Perry speaks to reporters at the Bexar County Courthouse Thursday afternoon after turning himself in on charges related to an alleged hit-and-run Sunday night.
David Christian, right, Councilman Clayton Perry’ attorney speaks on behalf of his client at the Bexar County Courthouse Thursday afternoon. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report

According to the police report first obtained by KSAT, the driver of a Honda Civic said their car was struck by a black Jeep Wrangler after making a turn that was too wide. A witness to the accident followed the Jeep Wrangler to Perry’s home nearby, then returned to the scene to alert the driver who had been hit, according to the police report.

The suspected Jeep driver’s name and other identifying details were redacted from the report.

A police officer went to the home and found a black Jeep Wrangler unoccupied in Perry’s driveway with the back gate open. The vehicle had come in contact with the garage door, and Perry was found lying in the backyard with a cut on his head, smelling of alcohol.

Perry told the officer he wasn’t driving.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg has said that if the details in the police report are accurate, Perry should resign from his council seat. Perry, the lone conservative on council, is serving his third two-year term.

Perry has been absent from city council meetings this week.

His arraignment hearing is set for Dec. 12.

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and mental health. She was the San Antonio Report's...