A Bellmead man wanted on a family violence assault charge tried to bribe a detective with a gift card and work around the city in exchange for a lessened charge or to avoid an impending arrest, Bellmead police Sgt. Kory Martin said.
Angel Tovar Lara, 31, was arrested Thursday afternoon about a month after he was accused of assaulting his girlfriend inside a Bellmead hotel on Aug. 19. While interviewing the victim of the assault, Lara called Detective Amber Howell and offered to give her a gift card to avoid arrest, Martin said.
Taken aback by the offer, the detective declined the offer, did not inquire about the gift card and notified other officers, Martin said. Lara called the detective again a second time and offered to do work around the city, the arrest affidavit states.
“During both phone call conversations, Angel Lara, intentionally or knowingly offers, confers, or agrees to confer on Detective Amber Howell and the city of Bellmead (for) benefits, gift card, community service and landscaping services as consideration for Detective Amber Howell’s decision, opinion, recommendation vote or exercise of discretion as a public servant,” the affidavit states.
According to the arrest affidavit in connection with the assault, Lara allegedly pushed the woman down while he was trying to get her into an elevator. The woman screamed for help, causing Lara to run from the hotel and she returned to the room with visible abrasions and marks.
Howell said Lara attempted to contact the victim several times in order to have her not pursue charges. Martin said while officers are often called to domestic assaults, it is rare that a felony bribery charge is later connected with the initial investigation.
“This is an unusual charge, especially off a family violence investigation,” Martin said. “However, this goes to show that the Bellmead Police Department is going to do to uphold the law and we will not be lenient on a family violence charge or anyone who tries to get out of an investigation for the benefit of the city or police department.”
Lara was arrested on a Class A misdemeanor charge of family violence assault and a second-degree felony charge of bribery. He was released from McLennan County Jail on a $12,000 bond.
A 34-year-old man was arrested on a felony indictment Friday, nearly two years after he was arrested for peering into a 14-year-old girl’s window while masturbating, authorities said.
A McLennan County grand jury indicted Anthony Joedell Cossey, of Waco, on August on a charge of indecency with a child by exposure after Hewitt police were called to a home in January 2015. Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin said a 14-year-old girl saw a man looking through her bedroom blinds.
Devlin said police found semen on the outside of the window’s edge and officers sent the fluid to a lab for DNA testing. In June 2015, DNA results came back with a suspect profile and police requested a DNA swab from Cossey to confirm a match.
DNA from both samples matched Cossey, who formerly lived in Hewitt, and police initially arrested him in December 2015. Devlin said the victim’s family had moved from the Hewitt area by the time DNA samples and evidence collection was completed.
Information was submitted to prosecutors before Cossey was indicted in mid-August, records show.
Cossey’s indictment remained sealed until his arrest Friday. He was taken to McLennan County Jail and later released on a $25,000 bond.