A police officer who allegedly tried to feed a homeless man a sandwich containing dog feces recently won an appeal against his firing.
Mathew Luckhurst, a police officer in San Antonio, Texas, was placed on indefinite suspension in October 2016 after fellow officers accused him of picking up a piece of dog poo, placing it on a slice of discarded bread, then putting it in the container of a half-eaten meal provided by a local homeless advocacy group.
Luckhurst reportedly left the container near a sleeping homeless man. When the man woke up, he picked up the sandwich and smelled it, before dropping it in disgust.
Luckhurst, along with other officers, had been clearing vagrants out of a no trespassing area in May, 2016 at the time of the accusation.
You cant be doing that. You have to go pick that up, a fellow officer told Luckhurst, who allegedly bragged about the incident afterwards, according to arbitration documents.
This was a vile and disgusting act that violates our guiding principles of “treating all with integrity, compassion, fairness and respect”, said Police Chief William McManus in a press release at the time of the firing, which occurred after the accusation against Luckhurst sparked an internal investigation.
Ultimately, Luckhursts termination was overturned because it was determined that he was disciplined more than 180 days after the alleged incident could have occurred, which local government code forbids, KSAT reported.
According to arbitration documents, Luckhurst had injured himself during a martial arts class at the time of the accusation and was on light duty from April 6, 2016 to June 14 of that year, which prevented him from being on bicycle patrol at the time his peers had testified.
Luckhurst was not wearing a bodycam during the alleged incident and authorities were not able to interview the homeless man because they could not locate him, documents stated.