Ex-Houston police captain investigating voter fraud scheme runs man off road, holds him at gunpoint: copsDecember 16, 2020
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A former captain with the Houston Police Department was charged with assault after running a man off the road and holding him at gunpoint in an effort to prove what authorities called “unfounded” allegations of a voter fraud scheme, officials recently announced.
Mark Aguirre allegedly claimed that an air conditioner repairman was the mastermind of a giant voter fraud scheme. Aguirre, 63, said the man’s truck was filled with fraudulent ballots when he ran his SUV into it on Oct. 19, according to authorities.
He was charged on Tuesday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and faces up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.
“The defendant stated (the driver) has approximately seven hundred and fifty thousand fraudulent mail ballots and is using Hispanic children to sign the ballots because the children’s fingerprints would not appear in any databases,” an arrest affidavit states.
Aguirre told police he and some friends set up a “command post” at a Marriott hotel in suburban Houston and conducted 24-hour surveillance on the repairman for four days, according to the affidavit. He said he then ran the man’s truck off the road, pointed a gun at him, forced him onto the ground, and put a knee on his back, the affidavit said.
This undated photo provided by the Houston Police Department shows Mark Aguirre. (Houston Police Department via AP)
Aguirre was fired from the Houston Police Department in 2003 after a botched raid in which nearly 300 people were arrested in a crackdown on illegal street racing. Most who were arrested were not linked to street racing and charges were dropped. Aguirre was tried and acquitted on five counts of official oppression.
Police say Aguirre was paid $266,400 by Houston-based Liberty Center for God and Country, a nonprofit organization run by a GOP party activist.
Jared Woodfill, an attorney who represents the activist, told the Associated Press that Liberty Center had employed Aguirre’s company and around 20 investigators who were looking into allegations of voter fraud during the election.
Woodfill said he doesn’t know if Aguirre was working on the investigation at the time of the alleged assault, but that Liberty Center doesn't approve of such tactics.
“We would never endorse that, saying go pull someone over, put a gun up to their head and make them open up their truck,” he said.
Woodfill said he would be “surprised if the allegations were true. That seems out of character for any of the people that would be working under Liberty Center."
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Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Aguirre’s actions “crossed the line from dirty politics to commission of a violent crime.”
“We are lucky no one was killed,” Ogg said. “His alleged investigation was backward from the start — first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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