Authorities: Former Alice police officer who resigned killed himself
Former Alice police Officer Benjamin Belmares died by suicide and was found dead Monday at the Alvarado Cemetery in Jourdanton,, according to Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward.
Late Monday morning the sheriff's office received a call about a vehicle parked at the cemetery on Hannon Road. When deputies arrived they discovered Belmares' body.
The Alice Echo News Journal does not typically report on suicides but is in this case because he was a former local police officer and had been the subject of recent reports.
Belmares resigned from the Alice police force in September after the Arizona Republic and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported on allegations from a woman who told police Belmares had inappropriately groped and propositioned her in 2008 while he was on duty as a Phoenix police officer.
Phoenix detectives who looked into the woman's claim at the time also accused him of inappropriately collecting women’s names and phone numbers while on duty and lying during the internal investigation. While Belmares, then a married man, denied inappropriately touching the woman he admitted he had collected women's numbers on the job and called himself a "scumbag" who "tarnished the badge," according to police records.
There were no formal charges filed against him. He quit the Phoenix police department and agreed to never work in law enforcement in Arizona, according to state records. Less than two years later he moved back to Texas, where he had previously been an officer and stayed in law enforcement, records show.
State commission records show he was a jailer in the Bexar County Sheriff's Office in 2003 and 2004. He also worked as a peace officer in the Kerrville Police Department for three months in 2006 followed by the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Office from May 2010 to March 2015.
According to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Belmares had been with the Alice Police Department since 2015 before he resigned.