Man mistaken for family violence suspect charged with assaulting two police officers

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) -A man mistaken for a violent suspect is out on bond after being charged with assaulting two police officers.  Thirty-three-year-old Mathias Ometu was stopped by police  Tuesday as he was jogging on Woodstone near IH 10 in the city’s Northwest side.  The incident unfolded right outside the office of attorney Victor Maas, who went live on Facebook.

“He was just jogging with his headphones on, minding his own business and this happens,” said Maas.

Ometu, an insurance adjuster with no criminal record, was mistaken for a suspect in a family violence case nearby where a man had punched and choked a woman.  Police say they repeatedly asked  Ometu for his name and date of birth, but he refused to identify himself.

“They just kept bugging him and when he didn’t cooperate, they said ‘we’re taking you downtown,’ and I guess he just got scared,”Maas told KTSA News.

(This Facebook video by Victor Maas shows officer questioning Ometu for several minutes)


According to the police report, Ometu became aggressive , so they handcuffed him and “advised him to have a seat in  the patrol vehicle.”  The report states that officers told Ometu that if he wasn’t the man they were looking for, they would release him, but he “resisted being placed in the patrol vehicle” and a struggle ensued with officers “using only open hand techniques” managed to get the suspect into the car.  Police say Ometu “forcefully used his legs to kick in the officer’s  direction and his foot made contact with the officer. During the incident, a second officer was injured by AP1 (the suspect)  physically kicking him in the face,” said police.


(This Facebook video by Victor Maas shows the struggle) 

The victim of the family violence incident went to the location and told officers that Ometu was not the man who assaulted her.  Ometu  was taken downtown and booked on two counts of assault on a peace officer.

“They did not de-escalate the situation, they escalated,” said Maas.

The real estate attorney said police went into his office and asked him where he had posted video of the incident, but Maas refused to give them any  information.

“I said,’I’m not providing you anything. You don’t like it, arrest me.  If you don’t have a warrant to be in my office, get out,’” said Maas.

He told KTSA News Ometu’s father called him and thanked him for videotaping the skirmish.

“He said it could have gotten a lot worse if I hadn’t been videotaping,” said Maas.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg  is looking into it.

“I am seeking a full accounting of this incident which is under investigation,” the mayor tweeted Thursday night. “We have to take this situation seriously because every single resident deserves fair and equitable treatment from their city.”

SAPD issued the following statement:

“We’re aware of several videos of this incident that have been posted online. Based on the preliminary information the individual arrested was contacted after officers were called to investigate a family violence incident. The suspect fled before police arrived, but the victim provided officers with the suspect’s information and officers also obtained information that the suspect was also wanted for a felony robbery warrant. The individual contacted was in close proximity to the call and he matched the physical and clothing description provided by the victim. That was the only reason he was stopped and questioned as the officers legitimately believed he was the wanted suspect. Mr. Ometu was charged with 2 counts of Assault on a Peace Officer. This incident will be reviewed administratively to ensure all policies were followed.”



More about: