CONVERSE, Texas – A Converse woman pulled out a handgun and threatened to shoot her next-door neighbor after being shoved during a heated argument over bulk trash pickup, surveillance footage obtained by KSAT Investigates shows.
The March 4 incident along Bismarck Lane ended with the woman who had the gun pointed at her arrested by Converse PD for misdemeanor assault, police and court records show.
The woman who pulled out the gun has not been criminally charged, although a Converse PD spokesman said it filed a felony aggravated assault charge against her with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office earlier this month.
Both cases are now under review by prosecutors, a DA spokesman confirms.
Trouble on Bismarck Lane
The 90-second surveillance footage clip shows resident Margot Vasquez lifting up pieces of a bedframe near her car and dragging them onto the driveway of her next-door neighbor, Shirley Barr.
Barr, whose surveillance camera above her garage captured the encounter, is heard in the video telling Vasquez that the frame was on her property as she walks up to Vasquez.
Vasquez says, “I don’t give a fu**, that’s my fu**ing grass,” before delivering a two-handed shove to Barr’s neck area.
Barr walks into her home and eventually emerges, reaching into a truck parked in her driveway and pulling out a handgun.
“You fu**ing touch me again bit** and I’ll fu**ing shoot your a**,” says Barr as she points the gun and walks toward Vasquez, who is now standing in her own yard.
“Shoot me! Shoot me, bit**!” yells Vasquez.
Barr points the gun at Vasquez a second time before a young woman walks onto Barr’s driveway and tells Vasquez to go away.
Converse police officers who responded to the dispute eventually arrested Vasquez and charged her with misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury after Barr complained of shortness of breath and had visible red marks, public records from the case show.
Vasquez told KSAT in a phone call that she had been forced to move the bedframe multiple times that day and it had been over the curb making contact with her car after being set out for bulk trash pickup.
Vasquez said a decade of frustration from dealing with Barr was running through her when she walked up to Barr and shoved her.
Vasquez was booked into jail and after being released on a $2,500 bond, was ordered to not have contact with Barr and another member of Barr’s family, court records show.
Barr did not respond to a request for comment left at her home.
Show of force vs. use of force
Criminal defense attorney John Hunter, who is not involved in this case, watched the footage and gave KSAT his legal analysis of it.
Hunter said based on the footage, Converse police got it right by not charging Barr at the scene.
WARNING: Graphic footage and language
“The question here we need to start with: is Ms. Barr on her own property? Yes. Is Ms. Vasquez interfering with Ms. Barr’s property? It appears so, at least in part. Could Ms. Vasquez have done something other than be confrontational, throw this material in the driveway and block people from coming and going from that driveway? Obviously,” said Hunter.
Hunter said two key issues arise from the footage: Barr pulling out the gun was a show of force rather than a use of force and it appears conditional threats were made as opposed to imminent threats.
“Ms. Barr is defending her real property. She’s not using violent force when the conflict starts. Ms. Vasquez is the initiator of that conflict,” said Hunter.
Hunter called Converse PD’s subsequent decision to file an aggravated assault case against Barr a “brash decision.”
“A lot of this is going to depend on, I think, the emotional reaction that the people on the grand jury experience with it and how the prosecutor chooses to frame the question,” said Hunter.
DA officials have not said how long the agency has had the aggravated assault case or if and when it will be presented to a grand jury.
A Converse PD spokesman told KSAT via email this month that aggravated assault is the appropriate charge because threats were made and a weapon was produced.
He said there was a delay in filing the felony case because the detective assigned to it was working on an unrelated felony case.
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