A Tarrant County grand jury returned an indictment Friday against a former Keller police officer related to an incident in which a man was pepper-sprayed while filming his son’s arrest.
Former Keller Police Sgt. Blake Shimanek was indicted on a charge of official oppression, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $4,000 and jail time of up to one year, according to a news release from the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office.
Shimanek resigned from the Keller Police Department earlier this year. His last day there was Feb. 1.
The indictment is in connection with the Aug. 15, 2020, arrest and subsequent pepper-spraying of Marco Puente, which gained national attention after the family filed a lawsuit against Shimanek and another Keller officer. The entire incident was video recorded on multiple dash cam and body worn cameras. The Keller police chief apologized for his officers’ behavior two days later and said they were in the wrong, according to the federal lawsuit Puente and his attorneys filed against the officers on Dec. 15.
Shimanek ordered Officer Antik Tomer to arrest and pepper-spray Puente while Puente filmed his son’s arrest following a traffic stop. Puente, an emergency electrician who grew up in Keller, was left without medical attention for 15 minutes.
Shimanek claimed Puente blocked a roadway, but a subsequent investigation found Puente did nothing wrong.