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Both the mayor and first lady of Sullivan City were issued warrants for assaulting each other earlier this month.
Sullivan City Mayor Leonel Garcia and his wife, Evelyn Vela, have different versions of the story. Vela called the Sullivan City Police Department on Sunday Feb. 16 for the incident, which had already occurred.
Officer Esteban Lozano took the report at the station shortly before 6 a.m., where Vela said she had been assaulted by her husband. According to Vela, the pair had a “verbal dispute that ended up getting physical,” as stated on an affidavit obtained by the Progress Times.
Vela said Garcia had taken and was trying to look through her cell phone as she was attempting to leave their home with their son. She then stated that Garcia became aggressive, and alleged he punched her lower lip, choked her and pulled her hair.
According to the affidavit, Vela said she “defended herself however she could” and “managed to escape.” Vela went to her mother’s house in La Joya, where she filed a report with the La Joya Police Department.
Because the incident occurred in Sullivan City, however, La Joya PD referred her to the Sullivan City PD. Vela “displayed a small laceration on her lip where she was assaulted, and photographs were taken as evidence.”
Garcia, her husband, reported another story to police.
Lozano made contact with Garcia following Vela’s report. Garcia spoke on a similar incident with Vela’s cell phone, advising that “he believes Mrs. Vela is being unfaithful to him.”
When Vela said she was leaving and was going to take their son, Garcia stated that he crouched over their sleeping child and hovered there as Vela began choking him from behind with her hands. He alleges that Vela used her forearm to “continue choking him,” which he said impeded his ability to breathe.
The affidavit says that Garcia noted he began to pull her hair when he lost his breath in order for her to release him. He alleges that when she did not let go, he “jerked his head back and he possibly struck Mrs. Vela with his head,” which caused the laceration on her lip.
The mayor denied punching his wife.
Garcia “displayed scratch marks around his neck area where he stated Mrs. Vela tried to choke him,” according to the affidavit, which does not state if photographs were taken of his injuries.
Because they were the victims in each of their stories, both Garcia and Vela were issued warrants for assault family violence. On Feb. 20, they were both charged with assault, intentionally or knowingly, causing physical contact with a family member causing pain or discomfort – Class A Misdemeanors.
Each had bail set at $1,000 on Tuesday.