DALLAS —- A Dallas police officer who was recently indicted for assault and official oppression over the alleged beating of a fleeing motorist was fired Friday morning.
Police Chief David Brown fired Officer Rene Villanueva during a disciplinary hearing. An internal affairs investigation found that Villanueva failed to conduct a proper felony stop, used excessive force, and brought discredit to the department.
The officer had appeared before the chief last week for a disciplinary hearing. At that time, the chief delayed making a decision in Villanueva's case because he wanted more information from prosecutors.
The events that led to Villanueva’s indictment occurred in the early morning hours of Nov. 10, 2013. The confrontation was recorded on dash cam video, and what police supervisors saw on that video prompted a public integrity investigation.
According to arrest records, Villanueva and other officers were working off duty at a club in the 400 block of S. Buckner Blvd. when they saw Ambrosio Monsavais leave a club, get in his truck and begin spinning his tires.
Monsavais, 27, hit two parked cars and drove toward an off-duty Dallas County sheriff's deputy, knocking him to the ground.
Monsavais fled as Villanueva chased him in a squad car for about a mile-and-a-half, the records state. Monsavais stopped in the 800 block of Hillburn Dr. near Buckner Boulevard.
The dash cam video shows Villanueva approaching the driver’s side door of Monsavais’ truck. He makes a punching motion with his handgun into the cab of the truck. He holsters his weapon and makes two additional punching motions into the truck. Villanueva pulls Monsavais from the truck cab, puts him on the ground, and punches Monsavais several more times while handcuffing him.
According to the arrest report for Monsavais, Villanueva said he gave loud commands for Monsavais to show his hands. He said Monsavais “lunged forward,” attempting to hit Villanueva with his fist, and reached for the center console.
Those records state Villanueva said he feared Monsavais was reaching for a weapon, so he hit him several times in the head "to gain compliance." He then used "straight arm bar take-down" to get him out of the vehicle and put handcuffs on Monsavais.
Monsavais was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault on a public servant, evading arrest, resisting arrest, and DWI. He remains in the Dallas County jail.
He was sentenced last week to five years deferred adjudication probation on the aggravated assault. He pleaded guilty to the DWI and evading charges and received jail sentences.
The resisting arrest charge was dismissed.