Sullivan City commissioner pleads no contest to misdemeanor assault, released from jail
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A Sullivan City commissioner pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault Saturday.
Mission Police Department officers arrested Gabriel Salinas, 38, of Sullivan City — a member of the Sullivan City Commission and the brother-in-law of La Joya school board Trustee Oscar “Coach” Salinas — Saturday morning on suspicion of assault.
Investigators presented Municipal Judge Mauro Reyna with a Class A assault charge. After reviewing the allegations, however, Reyna reduced the charge to a Class C misdemeanor.
“Mr. Salinas, you’re charged with Class A assault,” Reyna said. “In reviewing the documents and interviewing the investigators in this case, speaking with them, I don’t believe it meets the elements for a Class A misdemeanor assault.”
Reyna reduced the charge to a Class C misdemeanor, the equivalent of a traffic ticket.
“I will allow you to enter a plea of no contest,” Reyna said. “The punishment will be the time that you served in jail.”
Reyna placed Salinas on deferred adjudication for 90 days.
“After 90 days, it will be dismissed,” Reyna said. “Then your attorney can file your expunction request.”
What, exactly, Salinas was accused of, where the incident happened and how police officers became involved remained unclear Saturday.
The Progress Times requested a copy of the arrest warrant and affidavit prepared for the Class A misdemeanor charge, which wasn’t immediately available Saturday afternoon. The Progress Times also requested a copy of the Class C misdemeanor citation, which wasn’t immediately available either.
Class C misdemeanor assault includes conduct as simple as shoving or slapping another person.
Police Inv. Art Flores, a spokesman for the department, said Salinas was accused of assaulting his wife.
She signed what the department calls a “drop charges” form, stating that she didn’t want Salinas prosecuted.
Officers released Salinas at about 6:40 p.m. Saturday after 10 hours in jail. He left the police department with his attorney, Marco De Luna of Mission, and declined to comment.