A wreck and a fight occupied about half the on-duty city police force in downtown San Marcos as the bars closed early Saturday morning.
Police and one ambulance responded to a fight at 1:57 a.m. outside The Vault, at the northwest corner of Guadalupe and Hopkins Streets. The fight involved at least four men and resulted in two injuries, though no one was transported to the hospital, said SMPD Night Shift Cmdr. Kelly Earnest. She said one man was cited for fighting, but his name was not immediately available.
Shortly after the fight, San Marcos resident Thomas Akkerman reportedly drove a Toyota Camry into a Subaru parked on Guadalupe Street. Akkerman, 28, was subsequently arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.
“We’re not sure if he was turning from San Antonio onto Guadalupe or was just going straight, but he obviously lost control, hit the parked car and pushed it into the second parked car,” Earnest said.
An ambulance was dispatched to the scene, though EMS personnel found Akkerman uninjured and the parked vehicles unoccupied. The second parked car, a newer model Chevrolet Camaro, sustained minor damage. The collision occurred roughly between 2:05 a.m. and 2:15 a.m. on the block between San Antonio Street and MLK Drive.
Earnest noted that any pedestrian who happened to have walked between the Subaru and Chevrolet at the wrong time would have been pinned by the collision.
There was another disturbance outside The Vault earlier that night involving three San Marcos residents: 29-year-old Robert Scheel, 23-year-old Ryan Martin, and 22-year-old Ryan Bessent.
“When asked to leave due to their disruptive behavior, they [reportedly] made verbal threats to the staff that they would return with weapons to shoot the staff and that a female patron would have her ‘throat slit,'” Earnest said.
Police were called around 11 p.m. and the trio was arrested for public intoxication, a class C misdemeanor, Earnest said. No weapons were located on the arrestees. All three told officers they are Texas State students.
Earnest said a large proportion of officers occupied downtown can result in slower response times for citywide calls for service, though she noted most residents sleep during the busy hours associated with the weekend bar crowd.
“We have to hold calls because of downtown,” Earnest said. “There might be a delayed response to maybe something like a report caller. For everything in-progress, we’ll bring people and do the best we can with what we have.”
At one point that night, two patrol officers were occupied at the accident scene and four worked the second disturbance at The Vault, Earnest said. There were 14 city patrol officers on-duty at that time, which she said is normal. Two officers are usually assigned to the downtown area and tasked with managing the nighttime influx of bar patrons.
Two officers were at the accident scene until at least 5:50 a.m. and another two were at the scene of the second Vault fight from 1:57 a.m. to 3:09 a.m. Two other officers worked a “physical disturbance” call at the downtown Taco Bell from 1:58 a.m. until 2:13 a.m., Earnest said, but no details were immediately available.
Earnest said the recent arrival of several food trailer vendors downtown may have a calming effect on departing bar patrons.
“It’s nice because they could eat downtown versus getting in a car and driving to Whataburger — I don’t know, maybe that’s what this guy was doing,” Earnest said as she stood near the site of Akkerman’s accident and arrest.
Correction: The article originally stated Scheel, Martin, and Bessent were arrested and cited for disorderly conduct. They were arrested and cited for public intoxication.