Neighbors ask for man who caused 48-hour SWAT standoff to remain behind bars

People who say they’ve been held hostage by a violent neighbor for more than two years are hoping to get some relief in court on Monday.

SAN ANTONIO — A man charged in connection with a recent 48-hour SWAT standoff in southeast San Antonio is due in court Monday morning.

Some of his neighbors said they will be there too, asking the judge to revoke the probation of 28-year-old Baldemar Martinez while he awaits trial. 

September 13, San Antonio Police were called to the Southcross Ranch subdivision for a neighborhood disturbance.

Neighbors on Diamondback Trail said they don’t know why Martinez became irate, but they claim he fired shots at their dog and their house.

Police said the first arriving officers on the scene heard shots being fired, but Martinez had already retreated inside his house and refused to come out.

RELATED: New details revealed in 48 hour standoff on southeast side

Neighbor Donna Hicks said the next two days were torturous, with police using a loud speaker in an ill-fated attempt to badger Martinez into surrendering. 

“It was deafening. It wasn’t just loud, it was to the point that I still have ringing in my ears now. Everybody in my house was traumatized.” Hicks said.   

“Between the sirens they were blaring for hours on end, screaming and yelling at him all night long, it was traumatizing,” Hicks said.

Beyond the standoff, Hicks said for more than two years, Martinez has been terrorizing the neighborhood. 

Hicks has a stack of police reports that chronicle the threats; 13 in 2021 and six so far this year, she said.

“He has shot through my bathroom window while I was in the shower. He shot my truck. He’s shot my husband’s truck. He threw a brick and hit me in the face when I was leaving for work one day,” Hicks said, adding that even her pets have suffered.

“He has thrown chunks of metal at my dog to the point he cut a chunk out of my dog’s head and we had to treat it for six weeks,” Hicks said.

Spending time outside, she said, is simply not possible and she said she and her husband do not feel safe inside their home either.

“We’ve had to move our bedroom into the living room to avoid the bullets,” Hicks said, while pointing out a large sheet of tin that now covers the bathroom window that is riddled with bullet holes.

Hicks said Martinez has an assortment of weapons, and while she claims that he often shoots at neighbors with a pellet gun “He carries around a 9 millimeter in the front yard and we have seen him with a 22 caliber in the back yard, a long rifle,” Hicks said.    

With regard to the hearing scheduled for Monday, Hicks said, “I hope the judge and the assistant district attorney will hear our cries. We just want the same simple freedoms everybody else gets. Why can’t we live in peace?   Do something. Please!”

The chemical dependency counselor said she is well familiar with people like Martinez, who are on probation.

“I counsel people who are on probation all the time and if they violate? They go away. That’s just the way it is supposed to work but this is his third major violation,” Hicks said. “It’s safe to say that this is the most illogical situation I have ever seen in my entire life!  Ever!”

Hicks said several neighbors have moved, but she cannot afford to leave the home she owns and she said there is no help available from the victim’s compensation fund. 

“They are forcing us to move but we have no means to move,” Hicks said, adding that instead of taking effective action to stop Martinez, police have advised her to take flight.

“They said, ‘Build a bigger fence or move. There’s your solution.’  I went ballistic when they told me that,” Hicks said.

Hicks said the neighbors have been talking among themselves, hoping for a good outcome in court, but they are not optimistic.

“If the motion to revoke his probation is not granted I think the entire neighborhood is going to Austin to sit on the Governor’s doorstep.

The hearing is related to an incident in May 2020, when Martinez was involved in another neighborhood disturbance that resulted in a standoff with police that lasted several hours.

Then, he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He has been arrested and released for violations of his probation several times but online court records show he was still granted a $10,000 bond, even after the September incident.

Most recently, he was charged with deadly conduct-firearm. His bond on that charge is $40,000.

A magistrate did establish special conditions for his release, but Hicks and others said Martinez has never abided by the terms in the past.

His conditions now include: GPS monitoring, drug and alcohol testing, and orders prohibiting firearms and contact with victims.

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