Houston Police announced Tuesday that they arrested a former Houston Police Department captain who they say ran a man off the road and pointed a gun at his head in an attempt to prove election fraud claims.
Mark Anthony Aguirre, 63, was arrested and charged Tuesday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Prosecutors say he was paid $266,400 by Liberty Center for God and Country to conduct the investigation, a right-wing organization led by litigious Houston GOP megadonor and right-wing activist Steven Hotze.
Aguirre was investigating a ballot fraud scheme when he ran his SUV into the back of the truck of an air conditioning repairman Aguirre believed was in possession of 750,000 fraudulent ballots. When the repairman stopped and exited the damaged vehicle, police say Aguirre pointed a gun at him and forced him on the ground before police arrived and saw Aguirre with his knee on the back of the repairman.
The repairman’s truck, of course, was not filled with fraudulent ballots, but air conditioning parts and tools.
“He crossed the line from dirty politics to commission of a violent crime and we are lucky no one was killed,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “His alleged investigation was backward from the start – first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”
Aguirre told police he had been conducting surveillance on the repairman for four days before the incident and that he “accidentally” struck the truck with his SUV. HPD said a lengthy investigation was conducted and allegations of election fraud were unfounded and no evidence of illegal ballots were found.
Hotze, who funded the insane investigation, has had no shortage of headlines this year — but this one is by far the most absurd. Just this year, he was behind lawsuits to overturn Gov. Greg Abbott’s COVID shutdown orders and prevent drive-thru voting in Harris County. In July, he ominously left a voicemail for the governor’s chief of staff telling him that the military should “shoot to kill” rioters.
It’s hard to imagine Hotze would go this far if it weren’t for the vast majority of Texas’ GOP delegation to Congress — including Sen. Ted Cruz — still holding out on recognizing the results of the presidential election.
Photo: Houston Police Department
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org