Accused Precinct 5 Deputy Constable Could Face More Charges

It hasn't happened yet, but additional charges against Precinct 5 Deputy Constable Ben Zapata could be on the way.

Those charges would be in addition to the original retaliation charge filed after his girlfriend told police that Zapata threatened to kill her.

The possible charges stem from three specific allegations, all of them misdemeanors.

"We are now in the process of reviewing the case to see whether or not we're going to be filing these charges at all," said Mark Skurka, Nueces County District Attorney.

Zapata already faces a felony charge of retaliation in connection with an alleged assault on his common law wife, but according to Skurka, he could be facing additional misdemeanor charges including assault, terroristic threats and phone harassment.

"These are allegations. The officers bring us cases. That doesn't necessarily mean they're going to become cases," Skurka said. "Our intake attorneys have to review them to see if it meets all the elements, and then forward the cases as necessary and get them filed in court."

In the meantime, Zapata was informed Thursday that he has been officially suspended from his job without pay until his case is resolved.

Precinct 5 Constable Frank Flores said that, in light of what the Robstown Police investigation revealed, he decided it would be best that Zapata be suspended.

"Well, it's involving an officer and his conduct, and he well knows that any type of misconduct, especially if there's an investigation going on, he will be dealt with," Flores said.

The district attorney said it could be some time before a decision is made on whether any or all of the charges will be officially filed against Zapata.


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