Press Releases

New Ordinance to Prohibit Texting while Driving Begins Saturday
Jan 08, 2016   03:39 PM
New Ordinance to Prohibit Texting while Driving Begins Saturday

Recently, the San Angelo City Council passed an ordinance that prohibits texting while driving. The ordinance takes effect on Saturday January 9, 2016, and states if you are operating a motor vehicle on a public street, you cannot text or use software applications. There are a few exceptions when texting or using applications would be allowed and they are as follows:

? While legally parked or stopped out of traffic
? While dialing or talking on the cell phone or other device
? To read directions when using the device as a navigation system (travel map)
? To call for police, fire or ambulance assistance to report an emergency such as a traffic accident, crime in progress or medical emergency
? In conjunction with voice operated, hands-free (blue-tooth) or push to talk technology

A violation of this ordinance will be filed through the San Angelo Municipal Court and will carry a fine not to exceed $500.00.

Beginning Saturday January 9, 2016, San Angelo Police officers will be stopping motorist who are observed violating the ordinance. Except in extreme circumstances, written warning citations will be issued through February 29, 2016 in an effort to educate drivers about the ordinance and give them the opportunity to adjust to the new restrictions. Beginning March 1, 2016, officers will begin taking full enforcement measures and will utilize their discretion on whether or not a citation is issued.

There have been some questions as to how the ordinance will be enforced. If a Police Officer sees a driver using a wireless communication device in a manner that reasonably infers the driver is texting or using an application in violation of the ordinance, the Officer will have probable cause to stop the driver. Whether a citation will be issued is at the discretion of the Officer. An Officer cannot inspect, seize, or take possession of the driver's phone unless authorized by State or Federal Law. However, the driver can give consent for the Officer to inspect the phone if the driver believes one of the exceptions to the ordinance applies.

The San Angelo Police Department encourages drivers to be aware of the provisions of the ordinance and make a conscious effort to comply. The ordinance can be found online at, and more information on frequently asked questions can be found on the SAPD web page,

Press Release #010416(04)-San Angelo Man Arrested After Theft, Foot Chase
Jan 04, 2016   04:02 PM
A 27-year-old San Angelo man was arrested Saturday afternoon after he shoplifted and led police on a brief chase.
On January 2, 2016, Officers were dispatched to the Walmart Supercenter located at 5501 Sherwood Way around 4:30 p.m. for the report of male shoplifter who fled the store after he was confronted by Loss Prevention Staff.
While enroute, Officers located a man who matched the suspect's description walking in the 5000 block of Sherwood Way. Officers activated their vehicle's lights and attempted to make contact with the man; however, the man fled across traffic lanes and ran into the field located behind Target.
Police caught up with the suspect and took him into custody without further incident. He was identified as James Davis (DOB 04-27-88).
Davis was charged with Felony Enhanced Theft of Property Two or More Previous Convictions, Felony Enhanced Evading Arrest/Detention with Previous Convictions and Criminal Trespass.

Press Release #010416(03)-San Angelo Man Arrested for Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Kidnapping
Jan 04, 2016   03:31 PM
A San Angelo man, 30 year old Orlando Gatica, was arrested on January 2, 2016 for Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Kidnapping after an incident in the 1000 block of Tarver St.

On January 2, 2016 at 9:25 pm, San Angelo Police were dispatched to a call for a subject with a weapon in the 1000 block of Tarver St. The suspect, Gatica, had left the scene in a blue 2014 Chevrolet pickup prior to Officers arriving on scene. Officers met with one of the victims, Julio Arzeno, who stated he was visiting his son when Gatica pulled in front of the house and threatened to shoot him. Gatica was holding a handgun at the time he made the threat.

While Officers were investigating at the scene of the incident, Gatica was located driving at a high rate of speed in the area. Officers were able to catch up to Gatica in the 200 block of S Browning where he fled on foot. Officers lost sight of Gatica, but he was ultimately located in a shed behind a residence in the 200 block of S Browning. He was taken into custody without incident. While looking for Gatica, Officers located the handgun Gatica had in his possession. The handgun was discovered to be a very realistic BB gun.

A female victim, Makishia Mejia, was located in the vehicle Gatica had been driving. Mejia stated she had been at her residence in the 1000 block of Tarver St when Gatica pulled up and threatened Arzeno. Gatica then told her to get in the car with him or he would shoot the house. Mejia was concerned for the safety of children in the house and got in the vehicle.

Detective Michael Gaeta was called to the scene to continue the investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, Gatica was transported to the Tom Green County Jail and charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Aggravated Kidnapping.

Press Release 010416(02)-Man Jailed after Violent Confrontation with Citizen, Police
Jan 04, 2016   03:14 PM

A San Angelo man was arrested Sunday after a violent confrontation with a citizen and police.
Police were dispatched to the area of Edmond Blvd. and Van Buren Street around 3:00 p.m. for the report of a man walking in the street, inhibiting the flow of traffic and yelling at passing vehicles.
Upon arrival, a San Angelo Police Officer located the man who was exhibiting behavior that indicated he may have been under the influence of an unknown intoxicant. The Officer made contact with the man who then became combative towards him. While engaged in the struggle, the Officer used his department issued Taser on the man to gain compliance but the Taser had no effect. Several citizens who witnessed the attack on the Officer attempted to help until backup Officers arrived.
The subject was eventually taken into custody and identified as Timothy S. Swinehart (DOB 05-03-82) of San Angelo.
During the field investigation, Officers learned that prior to their arrival Swinehart confronted and assaulted a man in front of a nearby residence. The victim told Officers he and his child were exiting his residence when Swinehart confronted him. The victim was able to secure the child in his vehicle before Swinehart began his assault. The victim and the child were not injured and the victim did not pursue charges.
Swinehart was transported to the Tom Green County Jail and charged with Public Intoxication and Resisting Arrest Search or Transport.
Press Release #010116(01)-Woman Arrested After Shooting Incident in Northwest San Angelo
Jan 01, 2016   04:26 PM
Just after 4:00 a.m. this morning, San Angelo Police were dispatched to a residence in the 1500 block of North Street for the report of shots fired. Upon arrival, a young male approached the officers and told them he had been shot. Officers also observed several people physically fighting in the front yard of the residence.
Officers attempted to break up the fights; however, the subjects would not comply and became aggressive. Additional units and nearby Tom Green County Sheriff Deputies arrived to assist with control of the scene. Officers also administered emergency triage to the shooting victim until Medics arrived. The shooting victim, a 15-year-old male from San Angelo, was transported to Shannon Medical Center by ambulance where he was admitted for treatment of gunshot wounds to his arm and hand. His current condition is unknown.
Subsequent to the investigation, Detectives learned the shooting arose from a verbal dispute involving several family members that became physical. At some point during the altercation, one family member retrieved two firearms, allegedly in an attempt to break up the fights. The man's wife, later identified as Sophia Bara (DOB 08-08-81) of San Angelo, grabbed one of the firearms and threatened the family members. The gun then discharged and struck the victim.
Two additional victims were also treated at Shannon Medical Center for minor injuries they sustained in the physical altercation.
Bara was charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and transported to the Tom Green County Jail. No other arrests have been made but additional charges may be forthcoming.
This is an ongoing investigation and no further information is available at this time.