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TEXAS ROUNDUP: Officer wins appeal of dismissal over feces sandwich

SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio police officer who was fired after colleagues accused him of trying to give a homeless man a sandwich containing dog feces has won his appeal but hasn’t been reinstated.

An arbitrator this month overturned Matthew Luckhurst’s dismissal because he wasn’t punished within the required 180 days of the alleged incident.

Officers reported the dog feces incident happened May 6, 2016, while Luckhurst was on bicycle patrol. He was notified of his indefinite suspension Oct. 28, 2016.

Luckhurst challenged the May date, saying injury prevented him from riding a bicycle from April 6 to June 14.

An arbitrator voided Luckhurst’s dismissal, citing uncertain timing and a lack of evidence that it happened at all.

Luckhurst remains off the job while appealing an unrelated indefinite suspension again involving feces after he and another officer bragged about leaving a mess in the women’s restroom.

 

Police chief in private car, 4 others die in wreck

BARDWELL — Investigators say a traffic accident in North Texas has killed five people including a police chief driving a private car.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says the two-vehicle wreck happened around 10 a.m. Sunday on Highway 34 near Bardwell, 40 miles (64.37 kilometers) south of Dallas.

DPS Staff Sgt. Sara Warren says authorities are trying to determine why a westbound pickup truck veered into an eastbound car driven by 67-year-old Michael Spurgeon Sr. of Bardwell.

A city official in Bardwell said Monday that Spurgeon was the town’s police chief. His volunteer firefighter son, 40-year-old Michael Spurgeon Jr., was in the car and also killed.

The pickup driver, 31-year-old Jose Munoz of Ennis, and two passengers died — an 8-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy. Their names and relationship weren’t immediately released.

 

Sheriff’s deputy shot during traffic stop dies

EL PASO — A West Texas sheriff’s deputy, who was critically wounded Friday in a shooting during a traffic stop, has died.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s office confirmed the death of Deputy Peter Herrera in a statement on Facebook. It gave no further details.

Authorities had said on Friday that they expected Herrera to survive the shooting because he was wearing a protective vest.

Herrera was shot around 1:50 a.m. Friday after stopping a vehicle in San Elizario, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of El Paso along the U.S.-Mexico border. Authorities say a man in the vehicle started shooting after the deputy asked the driver to step out of the car.

The suspected gunman, 27-year-old Facundo Chavez, was initially booked on an attempted capital murder charge.