- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 5, 2016

The San Antonio Police Department has essentially fired a five-year veteran of the force after determining he tried to feed a dog feces sandwich to a homeless man.

Officer Matthew Luckhurst was recently placed on indefinite suspension as the result of an internal SAPD investigation spurred after he supposedly bragged about the stunt to other cops, the city said Friday.

The officer allegedly placed dog excrement between two slices of bread and left it in a styrofoam container next to a homeless man while on bike patrol back in May, the city said in a statement. He told his colleagues afterwards, who in turn told him to go back to the scene and take away the sandwich, a police source told the San Antonio Express News.

The SAPD Internal Affairs division was notified about the incident in July and launched an investigation that culminated with police and civilian review boards both recommending Officer Luckhurst’s indefinite suspension in October. Police Chief William McManus met with the cop afterwards and agreed to uphold the suspension.

“This was a vile and disgusting act that violates our guiding principles of ‘treating all with integrity, compassion, fairness and respect,’” Chief McManus said in a statement. “The fact that his fellow officers were so disgusted with his actions that they reported him to internal affairs demonstrates that this type of behavior will never be tolerated. The action of this one former officer in no way reflects the actions of all the other good men and women who respectfully serve this community.”

A San Antonio city official told the Express-News on condition of anonymity that the incident was “thoroughly investigated,” and that the cop had boasted about the stunt to several other officers.

Mr. Luckhurst’s attorney, Ben Sifuentes, told the Express-News that his client was kidding when he told his colleagues about serving a feces sandwich.

“It didn’t happen,” he told the newspaper, adding the officer will prevail upon appeal.

“There have been several arbitrations that I’ve had where what he alleges in the suspension turned out to be false. So let’s not assume that what he says is true,” Mr. Sifuentes said. “Number 2, there’s no eyewitness. No video camera showing what he alleges in fact happened. I think when it comes to arbitration, we’re going to prevail. We’re going to show this didn’t happen the way the chief alleged.”

Police have been unable to locate the homeless man, according to officials. 

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor defended the officer’s firing in a statement that said terminating the cop “was the right thing to do.”

“His actions were a betrayal of every value we have in our community, and he is not representative of our great police force,” she told Express-News.

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