No charges against teacher: DA drops case of bite at public pool

RAYMONDVILLE — Authorities have dropped the case of a Raymondville High School teacher who bit his 16-year-old student.

Yesterday, Willacy County District Attorney Bernard Ammerman said he dismissed the case after an investigation showed agriculture teacher Juan Garza bit his student’s arm to stop the boy from throwing him in a swimming pool.

“The guy was just trying to defend himself,” Ammerman said.

Javier Rodriguez, the boy’s father, said he has since requested the Texas Rangers investigate the case.

But Texas Ranger Tony Rocha said he was not investigating the incident. Instead, the Raymondville Police Department was handling the case, Rocha said.

Ammerman said the boy was working as a lifeguard at the city pool when he and two lifeguards grabbed Garza and tried to throw him in the pool on July 25.

Rodriguez said Garza’s girlfriend told the boys she’d give them $20 if they threw Garza in the pool during a private party.

But Garza told the boys not to throw him in the water because he couldn’t swim.

“The gentleman gets terrified and grabs hold of a fence because he can’t swim,” Ammerman said. “He tells them, ‘Don’t throw me in the pool. I can’t swim.’”

Ammerman said Garza bit the boy’s arm to break loose.

“The guy did not have criminal intent,” Ammerman said. “The guy was just trying to save himself.”

Rodriguez said he filed a police report, claiming Garza bit his son amid horseplay.

“He tore a piece of meat out of my son the size of his mouth,” said Rodriguez, who works at the city water plant.

Rodriguez said Garza’s bite caused his son to suffer a fever.

The day after the incident, he took his son to a doctor, who gave the boy a tetanus shot and antibiotics, Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said detective Denise Ledesma told him his son could be arrested for assaulting Garza, adding Garza could file a lawsuit against the city because the incident occurred on city property.

Police Chief Uvaldo Zamora said police conducted a “thorough investigation,” presenting Ammerman with a possible charge of assault-bodily injury, a Class A misdemeanor.