Case against mayor’s accuser dismissed

Managing Editor

Alfonso Benavides

Alfonso Benavides

Mayor Joe H. Hernandez

Mayor Joe H. Hernandez

The case against Alfonso Benavides involving allegations that he harbored a runaway has been dismissed by Cameron County Court-At-Law No. 1 Judge Arturo McDonald Jr.

The County Clerk’s Office confirmed the June 17 dismissal via telephone on Thursday.

Benavides, 59, was arrested May 7, 2012, after officers with the San Benito Police Department said the parent of a male juvenile, then 14, complained that Benavides was allegedly housing the minor at his Combes Street home.

As previously reported by the San Benito News, Benavides was charged with one count of harboring a runaway child, a class “A” misdemeanor, and was incarcerated at the Carrizales-Rucker Detention Center in Olmito on $3,000 bond. Former San Benito City Attorney Janice Cassidy, Benavides’ legal counsel, has long attributed his charge to political retaliation, to which Assistant City Manager Arturo Rodriguez previously denied.

On Thursday, Benavides said his arrest rendered him emotionally distressed and his credibility damaged.

Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the June 23 edition of the San Benito News, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

Permanent link to this article:


Skip to comment form

    • WeThePeople on June 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm
    • Reply

    After following the SB News on these stories and reading the blogs for some time, although many claim there was no special treatment given to Mr. Hernandez, I am not sure that is true. There is a whole lot more than meets the eye here, and I believe Reform SB and Memo Rodriquez are really on to something. Did several people conspire in these matters? I believe so. Isn’t that called RICO? Is there really ‘Equal Justice for All’; even for Benavides??

    • griff on June 28, 2013 at 6:43 am
    • Reply

    SB news… Why do you only post the comments that are for Benavidez and not the ones with some truth?!

    1. Derogatory and/or unsubstantiated comments referring to a person’s sexuality will not be tolerated.

  1. Questionable Characters I say YES. The Mayor given probation for the RASPA GATE and pending a CRIMINAL CHARGE. The City Managers ARREST while he was CITY MANAGER of MATHIS. The ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER sending an email to city employees of Mr. Benavidez Arrest plus sending threatening comments to a citizen on CITY TIME ON A CITY COMPUTER. ASSISTANT CHIEF M. GALVAN FAILING TWO YES TWO PSYCHOGICAL Examinations but still was hired. And the poor CHIEF M.MORALES just waiting to get moved down. YES I Say that REFORM SAN BENITO IS RIGHT.

    • luis on June 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm
    • Reply

    maybe now that can be friends and joe can give him a real hair cut and a wash too. Huh and he needs one badly

      • Denny Crane, Jr. on June 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm
      • Reply

      What is wrong with you?

      “When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself” .

    • reform 2 on June 26, 2013 at 8:05 am
    • Reply

    Reform San Benito: Kuddos to you on your extensive comment. I hope Mr. Benavidez does the same; however, would it be safe to say that there is even some kind if corruption within the SBPD? Most likely…..

      • Reform San Benito on June 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm
      • Reply

      Most peace officers everywhere are well intentioned and honest; SB is no different. However, like every other workplace anywhere, you always have your kiss-ups — people who will do whatever it takes to please the boss and get ahead. SBPD is no different. When there are people of questionable character running a city and/or a police force, it becomes exceptionally more jeopardous for citizens to express dissent, because the unscrupulous can retaliate under the color of law. Like Just Sayin’ tried to validate above, “The judge signed the warrant,” implying that it was ethical and above board. That’s how the unscrupulous think, believing they can hide behind the law to cover their dastardly deeds.

      For most people, the pain and humiliation of an unwarranted arrest is excruciating and stressful. In the case of Mr. Benavides, this dragged on for 13 months and took its toll. Knowing he committed no crime was of no comfort as long as his liberty hung in the balance. Whatever anyone thinks of Benavides, no one should have to endure that.

  2. I Agree Mr. Hernandez should have been arrested just like Mr. Benavidez. You should know about being arrested right Mr. Lara remember your MATHIS DAYS when you were arrested for PUBLIC INTOXICATION by D.P.S. remember the law is the law be fair.

    • Reform San Benito on June 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm
    • Reply

    Just Sayin’:

    The only probable cause was the mother of the runaway, uncorroborated by anyone else, not even a police officer. The problem with her as probable cause, her kid runs away from home often, and has reported him being at other locations but no one at those locations were ever arrested for harboring. In 15 years of age, the kid already has a criminal record that includes arson. The kids father made two calls to police leading up to Benavides arrest, but didn’t have a sworn affidavit from him. Why? Maybe because he’s a convicted felon? The entire family is unreliable, and that’s the flimsy “probable cause” they had.

    Let’s get one thing straight: the entire SBPD is not corrupt; only certain ones. Under Chief George Gomez, this arrest would not have happened. Why do you think Gomez and so many other long-term officers are gone? This administration ran them off because they wouldn’t do their bidding. They promoted Morales to his position because he was the only one with the credentials to oversee the department. But we don’t hear from Morales, the public hears from Galvan, his underling. Why? Because when Galvan has the credentials, they’ll run off Morales, too, and make Galvan chief. He’s the one they promoted over captains into his position, and he’s the one who was meeting with Arturo Rodriguez on a Sunday afternoon at Rodriguez house conspiring to get then Assistant Chief Arnoldo Garcia. He also spearheaded the no-confidence letter against Gomez that was the beginning of the end for him. It’s not the whole department, just a few of the insiders who harass citizens and those within the department that won’t participate with them and threaten them by their existence.

    The judge who signed off on the warrant with such suspect probable cause? None other than David Garza, who performed the swearing in of the mayor and others. He’s also the one who made a complaint against Assistant Chief Arnoldo Garcia because he asked if his brother was going to run for office against a commissioner who he had a photograph of on his desk. A simple question like that and he made a report that lead to ending the career of Arnoldo Garcia. Why? Because he knew he was helping the administration further their plans.

    Joe Hernandez has the audacity to say that Mr. Benavides should not blame him for his problems. What?! This coming from the man who blamed everyone but himself for his unpaid taxes, and blamed others for reporting his terroristic threats. By the way, Hernandez admitted to a reporter from this newspaper that he was taking photos of a man who alleged terroristic threats, but claims he didn’t threaten anyone. Then what was he doing taking photos of a man and his property if he wasn’t there to threaten him by burning down his property?

    Just Sayin’, your you ain’t sayin’ anything of value. You’re just sayin’ nothing based in reality. If SBPD is doing such a fine job, and if the arrest against Benavides wasn’t politically motivated, then how do you explain arresting Benavides and not arresting Hernandez when he made a threat against persons and property? How do you explain the Assistant City Manager over the PD sending an email to mayor and commissioners with Benavides’ mug shot with the message, “FYI…..Of interest to the City of San Benito…….”? Of what concern and interest to the administration and commission is the arrest of one citizen? Sounds like proof to me that the SBPD carried out a vendetta and the Assistant Manager was sending proof to the commission of the trophy he delivered. He was sending them a trophy to validate his promotion to Assistant City Manager six months prior.

    Need more proof? Why was the City Attorney sent to the courthouse to accompany records subpoenaed by Benavides’ attorney? Ask the City Manager and mayor and Custodian of Records at the PD how many times that has happened in all the years and instances defense and personal injury attorneys have been subpoenaing police records. I bet you’ll find the answer is never. Nada. Zero. You can be certain that was done at the expense of the taxpayers, too, having to pay the attorney’s fees.

    I hope Benavides sues the hell out of this city and the co-conspirators who wrongfully arrested him. Don’t worry, citizens, the city is insured and it won’t take from the taxpayers. I also hope criminal charges are filed against the co-conspirators. My hope is this all happens soon. Benavides deserves better. We all deserve better!

    • Pepe Roni on June 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm
    • Reply

    Let me see if I got this right..

    Mr. Benavides, a regular citizen, was charged with a misdemeanor (Harboring a runaway minor) and Mayor Joe Hernandez was charged with a misdemeanor “Making terroristic threats threatening violence, intending to place former City Commissioner Ricardo Robles Rodriguez in fear of imminent serious bodily injury”.

    Per the “Official Complaint”, Mr. Reynaldo J. Pineda, from the Cameron County District Attorney’s office, Joe H. Hernandez, the Defendant, did then and there intentionally or knowingly threaten to commit an offense involving violence to person, namely, that the defendant was going to kill the victim, with intent to place Ricardo Robles Rodriguez in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

    Mr. Benavidez, regular citizen, was arrested and place in jail by the San Benito PD.

    Per the District Attorney, Mr. Saenz, the San Benito PD chose not to arrest the defendant (the Mayor) and the case was submitted as “unarrrested” clearing the way for Mayor Joe Hernandez to remain free until his arraignment, at which time he is arrested and processed.

    Assistant City Manager Arturo Rodriguez should explain what the difference is in both these misdemeanor cases. Why was one case deemed eligible for an arrest warrant and the other wasn’t? Better yet, don’t answer that. The answer is obvious to everybody. Attorney Jan Cassidy is correct in classifying it as political retaliation. I would have enjoyed watching Mr. Rodriguez testify under oath regarding his alleged involvement.

    As usual, Mayor Joe H. Hernandez likes to play the victim. It’s his forte. He certainly should know something about “blaming others for all his mistakes” as he accuses Mr. Benavides.

    It is NEVER his fault. I wonder whose fault it was when he failed to pay his property taxes on time as the rest of the taxpayers. I wonder whose fault it was that he rented lot space to a raspa trailer owner in violation of a city ordinance that “ he signed” into law.

    • reform san benito 2 on June 24, 2013 at 9:52 am
    • Reply

    Just sayin’ , the article actually states “Judge Arturo McDonald jr” and as for favors, I strongly believe that the SBPD does the same….

    • Just Sayin' on June 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm
    • Reply

    Reform San Benito 2 sounds to me like the police department is doing their job. Nothing unethical about it! The judge signed the warrant when there was probable cause. I think Mr. Benach got lucky this time. With judge Nelson, you know, the one that helps with favors….just sayin’.

    • reform san benito 2 on June 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm
    • Reply

    Absolutely, Mr. Benavidez…keep your head up! The San Benito Police Dprt. ‘s credibility and integrity should be questioned. Who holds them accountable for their unethical ways?

    • Reform San Benito on June 21, 2013 at 10:47 pm
    • Reply

    Your credibility is not damaged in the eyes of many, Mr. Benavides. You did what’s right in both situations, and many respect you for it. Hold your head, sir!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.