Published 12:08 pm, Friday, February 24, 2017
Photo: TOM REEL, STAFF / SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
Local art activist Gene Elder was sentenced today to 180 days in jail, a punishment that has been probated for a year, a $250 fine and 24 hours of community service after having been found guilty of interfering with the duties of a public servant.
He was acquitted Friday on the more serious charge of resisting arrest, a Class A misdemeanor. The conviction is the conclusion of a story that began in the summer of 2016, when Elder stopped on a July night to “bear witness” to an interaction between two Alamo Heights police officers and two teens who’d been pulled over — for riding the wrong way on Broadway on their bicycles.
Elder admittedly interfered in an “investigation” by inserting himself into the situation: He attempted to hand a business card to one of the detained teens, asking if the boy had done anything wrong.
An officer forcibly removed him from the scene and alleged that Elder, 67, had resisted arrest.
At the sentencing portion of the trial Friday, Elder told County Court 4 Judge Jason Garrahan that he was OK with the outcome.
“I felt like I got a fair trial,” he said. “I do agree with the jurors.”
Elder said after he watched the video of the incident, caught on dash-cam and body-worn cameras, that he did indeed interfere with the officers’ duties.