HOUSTON — A former Houston Police Department captain is accused of causing an accident and holding a man at gunpoint to prove his claims of voter fraud.
Mark Anthony Aguirre, 63, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony. He was arrested Tuesday.
“He crossed the line from dirty politics to commission of a violent crime and we are lucky no one was killed,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “His alleged investigation was backward from the start – first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”
According to a court documents, Aguirre told police shortly after the Oct. 19 incident that he was part of a group of private citizens called “Liberty Center,” who were conducting a civilian investigation into an alleged ballot scheme.
Aguirre told investigators he had been conducting surveillance on the victim for four days under a theory the victim was the mastermind of a giant fraud, and there were 750,000 fraudulent ballots in a truck he was driving.
Instead, the victim turned out to be an innocent air conditioner repairman.
According to the documents, Aguirre ran his SUV into the back of the truck to get the repairman to stop and get out. When the technician got out of the truck, Aguirre pointed a handgun at him, forced him to the ground, where Aguirre reportedly put his knee on the man’s back. The incident was captured on the body-worn camera of a police officer.
Aguirre directed police to a parking lot nearby where another suspect, who has not been identified, took the truck, investigators said. There were no ballots in the truck. It was filled with air conditioning parts and tools.
Aguirre’s claims of election fraud were found to be baseless after an investigation by Houston police and by the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office, as part of the Harris County Election Security Task Force.
If convicted, Aguirre faces up to 20 years in prison.
Aguirre had been indefinitely suspended from HPD in January 2003.