Jim Wells County Deputy Elijah Casas was terminated Monday morning from the department after he turned himself on an Alice Police Department warrant for assault.
Casas and Alice Police Officer Rene Garcia were involved in a altercation at a local bar Thursday, April 27 involving an assault on another off-duty officer after two women began arguing over a cell phone.
Casas was with the department for approximately a year and five months. Garcia has been with the Alice PD for 14 years is currently on administrative leave without pay.
According to JWC Sheriff Daniel Bueno, Casas found sleeping on the job and was on administrative leave without pay when the incident at the bar occurred. When he was suspended for sleeping on the job the department had advised Casas that another incident would be cause for termination.
Garcia was arrested Friday, April 28 and charged with assault causing bodily injury. However, Casas had been out of town when the department advised him of the warrant as they urged him to turn himself in.
According to Casas' termination papers, he violated three department policies; conduct unbecoming, obedience to laws, and conduct and behavior.
“I want to ensure the residents of the county and residents of JWC that this does not reflect the conduct of the police or the sheriff's office nor the officers who work in the community,” Bueno stated. “We'll continue to uphold the law and continue to provide the best service.”
Alice PD began a criminal investigation into the allegations and present their findings to the JWC Attorney's Office, which would ultimately pursue any prosecution, according to the press release issued by the Office of the City Manager.
Alice Police Chief Rex Ramon will also conduct a separate internal inquiry into Garcia's conduct and decide whether it warrants discipline.
Chief Ramon wishes to inform the public, that the Alice Police Department does not condone assaultive conduct on the part of his officers.
"It is the mission of the Alice Police Department to conduct themselves with dignity, and recognize that an officer's personal conduct, both on and off duty, is inseparable from the professional reputation of both the officer and the department,” Ramon stated.
Casas was released from county jail on Monday on a $1,000 bond. Garcia was released from jail on a $1,000 bond Friday. Bonds were issued by Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Juan Rodriguez Jr.