A former police captain with the Houston Police Department was indicted on Tuesday for allegedly holding an innocent AC repairman at gunpoint over a baseless voter fraud claim that Hispanic children were signing ballots. Mark Anthony Aguirre, 64, faces a count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, records show.
“According to Aguirre, he had been conducting surveillance on the victim for four days under a theory the victim was the mastermind of a giant fraud, and there were 750,000 fraudulent ballots in a truck he was driving,” the Office of the Harris County District Attorney said. “Instead, the victim turned out to be an innocent and ordinary air conditioner repairman.”
Aguirre rammed his SUV into the back of the victim’s truck to force him to stop in the Oct. 19, 2020 incident, prosecutors said. The repairman stepped out, but Aguirre pointed a gun at him, forced him to the ground, and put a knee on the man’s back, authorities said.
There were no ballots in the truck — only air conditioning parts and tools, the D.A.’s office said.
Aguirre got $266,400 from the right-wing group Liberty Center for God and Country to do his work, authorities said.
“He crossed the line from dirty politics to commission of a violent crime and we are lucky no one was killed,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg (D) said. “His alleged investigation was backward from the start – first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”
The repairman David Lopez-Zuniga sued right-wing activist Dr. Steven Hotze in March, blaming him for funding and directing Aguirre’s actions.
“Dr. Hotze financed a project to investigate allegations of voter fraud,” Hotze attorney Jared Woodfill told KTRK. “What an independent contractor chooses to do is not Dr. Hotze’s responsibility any more than if you or I were to hire an investigator or a contractor to do something for us and while doing it, they did something inappropriate.”
Aguirre was fired from the Houston Police Department in 2003 for his role in a street-racing raid where 278 people were arrested.
[Image via Houston Police Department]
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