An Austin police officer is looking for a new job, after being terminated on Friday, for a rendezvous with a known prostitute and drug-user. Officer Manuel Garcia was caught with the hooker at Fiesta Gardens in East Austin back in February, one who he had reportedly "dated" several times.
The arrest occurred on February 2 and Garcia was charged with prostitution-related charges. Since the arrest, both the Special Investigations and the Internal Affairs units of the Austin Police Department have been investigating Garcia's case for criminal and policy violations.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo released a memo regarding the termination of Manuel Garcia.
"In determining the appropriate discipline in this case, I took into consideration the fact that Officer Garcia's actions constitute criminal conduct, the serious nature of his policy violations, and the negative impact of Officer Garcia's conduct on the Austin Police Department and the City of Austin," said Chief Art Acevedo in the disciplinary memo.
According to the memo, police detained Garcia on Comal Street in February at 7:16 p.m.
Garcia was reportedly parked with Teresa Gail Little in a dark, unlit area of the parking lot in an area known for drugs and prostitution. Garcia admitted to knowing that Little was a known prostitute, but said he didn’t realize she used drugs.
Garcia told them he knew Little and had seen her several times -- adding that he has tried to help her out in the past through some hard times. That day in February, he told police he was taking her something to eat.
Little told police she knew Garcia as "Luis" and that they had "dated" several times. She went on to tell police that both had agreed she would perform oral sex for $10.
During the stop, Garcia was allegedly dishonest with the officers in several aspects.
Garcia admitted to Internal Affairs about lying to the officers when he told them he was not currently working anywhere and that he did not have a weapon in his car, according to the memo.
"Officer Garcia's actions destroy public confidence in and respect for the Department and is prejudicial to the good order, efficiency or discipline of the Department," said Acevedo's memo. "Not only did Officer Garcia fail to tell the truth to Internal Affairs but Officer Garcia impugned the integrity of his fellow officers in an attempt to conceal, divert or mitigate his true culpability in the incident in further violation of APD's honesty policy."