‘It’s not him at all’: family of rape suspect claims another person involved

Austin

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Family and friends of Tyshane Thomas, 20, the man accused by San Marcos Police of sexually assaulting three women, tell KXAN they have suspicions that there is another person involved in the crime.

“It’s not him. It’s not him at all. Someone with no background, no criminal background, all of a sudden just commit these crimes, no. It doesn’t add up at all,” said Brianna Mathews, Thomas’s girlfriend. 

Mathews has been Thomas’s girlfriend for five years. She, along with his friends and family, cannot believe what police allege. They know the man they say who volunteered with the Houston Police Department, helped with recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey, attended church and looked out for his friends. Thomas, to them, is a “good, decent young man.” 

Although Thomas is not currently a student at Texas State University, police say last fall he was a criminal justice major at the school.  

“This is not a person that just woke up and said I’m going to do all these crazy things today,” said Tasha Labbe, Thomas’s mother. “He’s not a sexual predator. He is a loving person.” 

Police say Thomas was the man who sexually assaulted two women by gunpoint at the Retreat Apartments and a third at the Cottages of San Marcos. Investigators found a back-pack with his name on it, black mask and pistol as described, along with a bra – believed to belong to one of the victims.

However, his family points to specific lines in the police paperwork on how the victims say Thomas was on the phone answering with “yes sir” and telling that person he was with the two women. Clues, the family claims, that another person was involved, knew what was going on, and could have been pressuring Thomas to commit the crimes. 

“A deeper investigation needs to be done. [It] seems like San Marcos needs to find out who that person is,” Mathews said. 

“Someone is being forced, threatened, made to do some things, I don’t know. We don’t know. I believe someone else is out here orchestrating this, is saying what to do, when to do it, how to do it,” Labbe said.

She says her son told her he would never do something like this willingly. 

“As much time as they’re putting into convicting him, put time and energy into investigating what he’s saying,” added Labbe. “We understand that people were hurt and we are not excusing that or trying to make excuses for that. All we are saying is that there are females here that women are here and people are still in danger.”

Childhood friends and friends the suspect made in college all came to his defense. 

Quadrey Elshabazz says he was bullied growing up and Thomas — his best friend — stood up for him. 

“He was there to defend me. He was always that person that had my back,” Elshabazz said. 

The two went to Texas State together. 

“We’ve volunteered at places. We’ve tried to stay in church and stay close to God to do things for our family, just to do things the right way,” said Elshabazz. “I know he wouldn’t do anything like this.” 

Ash Powers, who met Thomas last year as freshman, also stood by him. 

“Ty is so protective. He’s always been so protective of me and any other girls that are around us,” she said. “It hurts my heart that he has to go through this right now because I know him and I know that this is not something that he did.” 

The San Marcos Police Chief tells KXAN they continue to investigate – including the claims made by Thomas – but at this point, they say, the evidence points to him acting on his own accord.

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