DA’s office: Deputies’ use of force in November 2018 incident was justified

Crime

A photo from a Travis County Sheriff’s Office patrol car showing the position of the deputies’ moments before the Ford reversed into Deputy
Garcia’s vehicle. (District Attorney’s Office photo)

TRAVIS COUNTY (KXAN) — The Travis County District Attorney’s Office found county deputies’ use of force to be justified in an incident in November 2018, it was announced Wednesday.

District Attorney Margaret Moore will not present the case to a grand jury that involved Travis County deputies Luis Garcia, Curtis Kelly, Stanley Dalley and Thomas Gray.

In the report from Moore, it says Pflugerville police made initial contact with a person — later identified as Frank Soliz — on a suspicious vehicle report. Soliz was found sleeping in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, a Ford F-150 pickup. After the pickup Soliz was in came back stolen, police attempted to take him into custody. Soliz fled, and the chase was on.

Travis County deputies joined the pursuit after Garcia spotted the pickup on a gravel road. Garcia called for backup, then told Soliz to get out. Soliz didn’t, and then took off.

Backup arrived and blocked entrances to the area, a water treatment facility, then Soliz rammed his pickup in Garcia’s patrol car. Dalley, Kelly and Gray shot at Soliz’s vehicle, puncturing the tires. Soliz then turned toward the deputies that shot his tires, and Garcia fired at Soliz and missed.

An 8-hour standoff ensued after the gunfire, and eventually Soliz surrendered to authorities.

Soliz was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison for aggravated assault and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The district attorney’s office has a full brief of the facts and legal analysis on its civil rights website.

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