San Antonio police officer put on leave after firing at suspect in car theft case

The same officer, Miguel Leal, also received a 45-day suspension last spring for failing to report two incidents that occurred on one of his shifts.

click to enlarge A San Antonio police officer recently placed on administrative leave faced discipline last spring for a different incident, according to media reports. - Shutterstock / Schmidt_Alex
Shutterstock / Schmidt_Alex
A San Antonio police officer recently placed on administrative leave faced discipline last spring for a different incident, according to media reports.
The San Antonio Police Department has placed a veteran officer on administrative leave after he allegedly fired a weapon at a suspect in a carjacking case, KENS 5 reports.

That same officer — 11-year veteran Miguel Leal — also received a 45-day suspension last April for failing to report two separate incidents he encountered during a single shift, KSAT separately reported earlier last year. Those involved the discovery of five stolen cars as well as a vehicle creating a road hazard.

Initially, SAPD "contemplated indefinite suspension" of the officer but shortened his suspension after he agreed to sign "last chance agreement" under which he could be assigned to restricted duty and counseling, according to KSAT.

In the Nov. 20 incident in which Leal is accused of firing on a suspect, authorities said the officer tracked down a car he said was stolen from his son on Nov. 20 outside a South Side auto parts store, KENS 5 reports. Officials said Leal fired at the vehicle once he caught up with it, according to the story.

The 18-year-old suspect eventually was picked up by police and charged with aggravated robbery and evading arrest, according to the TV station's report.

In a radio dispatch at the time of the incident, Leal warned other officers to exercise caution because the suspect was armed. He also said his own police gear, including his ballistic vest, were in the trunk of the stolen car, according to KENS.

The SAPD Shooting Team and the Internal Affairs Unit are conducting separate, concurrent investigations, KENS reports. The teams will provide their findings to the Bexar County District Attorney's Office for an independent review.

In its reporting, KENS didn't say how long Leal will remain on leave.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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