San Antonio, TX – A San Antonio councilman facing drunk driving and hit-and-run charges has refused to resign from the city council despite a bodycam video that showed him passed out near his running, wrecked vehicle (video below).
The incident began when the driver of a Honda Civic told police a black Jeep Wrangler had smashed into their vehicle head-on at about 9:10 p.m. on Nov. 6 while they were stopped at a light at the intersection of Jones Maltsberger and Redland roads, KSAT reported.
Witnesses told police the Jeep fled the scene without stopping after it crashed into the Honda.
A witness followed the Jeep when it failed to stop, saw where it went, and then returned to the crash scene to provide the information to law enforcement.
Bodycam video showed a San Antonio police officer found the wrecked Jeep still running in the driveway and walked through an open side gate into the yard.
The officer found the alleged hit-and-run driver lying on the ground outside moaning, KSAT reported.
Police said he smelled strongly of alcohol.
Bodycam video showed that the driver, San Antonio District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry, at first told the officer he couldn’t get up.
The officer asked him if he had been involved in a motor vehicle accident and Perry denied it, the video showed.
Then when the officer told him that he’d have to call an ambulance if he couldn’t stand on his own, Perry tried to get to his feet.
“How about this, let’s try sitting up. Let’s start with that,” the officer suggested.
Bodycam video showed Perry appeared very unsteady and swayed after he sat up.
Perry told the officer he didn’t have a driver’s license and the officer asked him why he had been driving if he didn’t have a license, the video showed.
“I’m trying to get into my house,” Perry explained.
“So why is that so difficult?” the officer asked.
Perry was unable to answer the officer’s questions and again denied having driven his vehicle and left it running in the driveway, the video showed.
The officer asked the councilman how much he had to drink while he was out having a good time, and Perry refused to give him a specific answer, the video showed.
“Well, I had a good time,” the lawmaker said. “I just had a good time… Well, had a good time.”
He repeatedly told the officer that he hadn’t been driving and the officer asked him who had.
“There are a lot of acorns living here tonight,” Perry told him in the video, making no sense at all.
The councilman was arrested and charged with failure to stop and give information but was released the same night after he posted a $1,000 bond.
“An additional charge of Driving While Intoxicated will be filed with the District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney will review the facts and determine the best course of action,” according to a press release from the San Antonio Police Department.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg called for Perry’s resignation after the details of the arrest became public, KSAT reported.
Perry said the mayor “can say what he wants” because he has no plans to resign from the city council, My San Antonio reported.
The San Antonio City Council voted to publicly reprimand Perry but stopped short of calling for his resignation.
Instead, his fellow lawmakers granted him a leave of absence to seek rehabilitation.
James Hamilton, a San Antonio resident at the meeting, said he wanted Perry held accountable, My San Antonio reported.
Hamilton told the council that he didn’t think that Perry was asking for compassion but rather, using white privilege to avoid accountability.
“They’re asking for you to have special privileges that the rest of us here in San Antonio don’t have. We ain’t buying that,” the angry resident said. “And all of y’all that’s going vote for white privilege and give him special privileges that the rest of the people in San Antonio don’t have — we’re going to vote you out.”
The city council can remove Perry from office if he is convicted of the charges against him, My San Antonio reported.
On Dec. 1, former District 10 City Councilman Mike Gallagher was sworn onto the council to temporarily replace Perry, KSAT reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below: