A former Houston police captain was arrested and accused of pointing a gun at a repairman and running him off the road over false voter fraud allegations, authorities said Wednesday.
The man, Mark Anthony Aguirre, 63, was charged Tuesday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Harris County District Attorney's Office. Police said Aguirre told them after the incident in October that he was part of a civilian group called "Liberty Center" that was looking into allegations of voter fraud.
According to the district attorney's office, Aguirre said he conducted "surveillance" on a man for four days in the belief that he had 750,000 fraudulent ballots in his truck. Authorities alleged that he ran his SUV into the back of the man's truck and forced the man to the ground at gunpoint, which was captured on an officer's body camera.
A Houston officer saw Aguirre hit the truck while responding to an unrelated car nearby, according to a police statement Tuesday. The officer said he saw Aguirre point a gun at the man and called for backup as the truck was driven away.
Authorities said another suspect, who has not been identified, drove the truck to a nearby parking lot, where Aguirre led police.
The man Aguirre is accused of targeting was actually an air-conditioning technician, and his truck was found full of air-conditioning parts and tools, the district attorney's office said.
Police said that Aguirre was "indefinitely suspended" from the department in 2003 and that a "lengthy investigation" into his claims found no substantiated evidence of voter fraud.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Aguirre crossed a line "from dirty politics to commission of a violent crime."
"His alleged investigation was backward from the start — first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened," Ogg said.
The district attorney's office alleged that Aguirre was being paid $266,400 by the Houston-based Liberty Center for God and Country.
Aguirre was booked into the Harris County Jail on Tuesday, according to police. Inmate records were not immediately available. A phone call to Aguirre was not immediately returned.