SAN ANTONIO (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Matthew Luckhurst, the San Antonio police officer fired in 2016 amid allegations he tried to give a homeless man a sandwich filled with dog feces, won his appeal but hasn’t been reinstated.
It was an expired timetable that lead to the win, not Luckhurst’s innocence.
An arbitrator this month sided with Luckhurst because administrators failed to assess punishment within the required 180-days. Local government code prevents law enforcement from punishing an officer for conduct that occurred more than 180 days before they are disciplined.
Luckhurst remains off the job while appealing another unrelated indefinite suspension.
The arbitrator’s report details how Luckhurst saw a pile of trash that contained – among other things – dog feces, condoms, vomit and slices of bread. The reports says, “he grabbed the dog feces with the piece of bread to avoid stepping on it and placed the feces, wrapped in the bread, into a nearby food container.” Luckhurst then placed the container next to a homeless man who was sleeping. That person picked up the container containing the feces “sandwich” but threw it down after smelling it.
Some officers reported the dog feces incident happened May 6, 2016, on bicycle patrol. Luckhurst on October 28, 2016, was notified of indefinite suspension.
Luckhurst challenged the May date, saying he’d been hurt in a martial arts class and unable to ride a bicycle then.
Other witnesses gave varying dates.
An arbitrator decided the feces incident could have happened earlier and not within the 180-day punishment window.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)