This article originally appeared in the Friday Aug. 30, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.
A former Pharr police officer who threatened to kill two people during a drunken rampage pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon last week.
Omar Gutierrez, 31, of Edinburg pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony, on Aug. 22. State District Judge Romeo Flores, however, set aside the guilty plea and placed Gutierrez on community supervision for seven years.
“He is happy to put this case behind him and move forward with his life,” attorney A. Andre Maldonado, who represented Gutierrez, said in a statement.
Prosecutors negotiated a plea agreement with Gutierrez, which allowed them to resolve the case without requiring the victims — Gutierrez’s ex-wife and her parents — to testify.
Along with surrendering his law enforcement license, Gutierrez agreed to pay a $1,000 fine and forfeit a 9 mm Glock pistol.
“Based on his behavior and what he did, there’s no reason he should continue being a cop,” said Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez. “We don’t need those kind of individuals serving as law enforcement officers.”
Gutierrez joined the Pharr Police Department in April 2011, according to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records. He became an investigator and served on the department SWAT team.
The incident that ended Gutierrez’s law enforcement career happened a few minutes after midnight on Nov. 30, when the Mission Police Department responded to a call on the 200 block of Salinas Drive.
When officers arrived, they found Gutierrez holding a 9 mm Glock handgun.
“This is a Section 26,” Gutierrez said, according to Mission Municipal Court records. “I’m going to kill myself.”
Gutierrez, who had been drinking, apparently crashed his GMC Sierra truck through a chain-link fence and struck his ex-wife’s Honda Pilot. The impact pushed his ex-wife’s car against her parents’ mobile home, damaging the building.
Officers interviewed his ex-wife’s parents, who said that “Omar had a small handgun and was waving it around,” according to court records. Gutierrez “told them that it was their fault he got a divorce and that he was there to kill them.”
Gutierrez dropped the gun and surrendered to police.
“Several live ammunition rounds were found on the driveway where the male subject had been standing,” according to court records.
When he arrived at the city jail, officers administered a breath test. The results indicated a blood alcohol concentration of 0.14 or 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit, according to court records.
A grand jury indicted Gutierrez on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony, and one count of criminal mischief, a third-degree felony.
He pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the remaining felony charges.
“Mr. Gutierrez is a decorated United States Marine Veteran who served in Iraq and has received the Combat Action Ribbon and the Navy Accommodation Medal, among others,” his attorney, Maldonado, said in a statement released after the arrest. “This case should not tarnish the sacrifice he’s made serving our country and defending the freedoms we hold today.”