KFOX14Investigates: EPPD officer has history of making unwanted advances to female drivers

KFOX14Investigates: EPPD officer has history of making unwanted advances to female drivers

KFOX14 Investigates has discovered that the police officer arrested for a deadly hit-and-run on New Year’s Day was reprimanded several times for being inappropriate towards women during traffic stops.

More than 2,500 pages were obtained from the City of El Paso detailing Officer Roberto Garcia's disciplinary record and bad behavior.

Records showed he had a pattern of preying on women during traffic stops and covering it up.

In December 2016, Garcia pulled over a 50-year-old driver near the Albertsons on Resler and Mesa.

The driver filed a complaint after she said Garcia asked whether she was married.

She said he also asked for her phone number because she had traffic warrants.

He proceeded to send her the following text, "This is my number. Text me in three weeks with the proof you paid. Make sure your husband doesn’t know, have a good day."

The woman told the police department that the text made her feel scared and uncomfortable.

During the course of the investigation, detectives discovered Garcia had turned off the microphone linked to his dash cam. So there is no audio of the traffic stop.

Documents show Garcia later admitted to having another phone line that his wife doesn't know about.

He said, “This is the cellphone I use when I meet somebody and my wife will not be able to trace it."

Another woman filed a complaint against Garcia in February 2017.

The 25-year-old said Garcia asked during a traffic stop where she likes to party. He told her she has "pretty eyes" and said "I like that chest tattoo, I would like to see them a little bit better."

He told her "I can’t have a Facebook because my wife would know I have pretty girls like you on there."

He then told her to take his number down, and told her to send him a photo of her chest tattoo.

The driver wrote in her complaint: "I am making this report because I don't want this to happen to another female -- or for her to feel the way I did."

She provided investigators with the paper where she wrote down Garcia’s number.

Again during the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Garcia had turned off his microphone.

This prompted an audit, which revealed several occasions where Garcia turned off his microphone while stopping female drivers.

For the cases combined, Garcia received 56 hours suspension.

In October 2017, another driver reported Garcia's behavior.

She said he let her off with a warning for speeding but said he needed her phone number to run her previous tickets.

She said he then proceeded to text her in the following days things such as, "you owe me big time,"

"Do you like wine?" "We can meet one of these days so you can pay me the bet."

The driver reported she never made a bet with Garcia, and the flirting was unwanted.

Again, the microphone was turned off.

He received a 168-hour suspension for the third incident.

During that same time, it was discovered he'd fallen asleep while working off duty for TXDOT and received an additional five-hour suspension

Garcia is currently out on bail for the alleged hit-and-run and on paid leave from the department.

We reached out to the El Paso Police Department on Garcia's pattern of targeting female drivers. The department tells us it cannot comment on personnel issues.

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