Matthew Luckhurst, a San Antonio police officer who allegedly gave a homeless man a “sandwich” filled with dog feces, has won an appeal to get his job back, KTVT is reporting. However, he remains off the job as another disciplinary matter, also involving feces, remains unsettled.
Luckhurst was fired in 2016 following the incident with the homeless man. According to a report from the arbitrator who heard his appeal, Luckhurst noticed a pile of trash that contained, among other things, feces (dog and human), vomit, and used condoms. Luckhurst allegedly took a piece of bread and scooped up the dog feces, then added another piece of bread to make an ersatz “sandwich.” He then allegedly took it to a homeless man who was sleeping nearby and left it near him.
The homeless man, for his part, didn’t eat the “sandwich.” Rather, he smelled it and then threw it out.
The arbitrator sided with Luckhurst due to a technicality. Specifically, the arbitrator noted that it was unclear when the incident took place, due to conflicting witness statements, or even if it took place at all. Because of the ambiguous time frame, the arbitrator concluded that Luckhurst’s superiors failed to punish him in the appropriate time. That’s because state law prohibits public agencies from punishing employees for actions that took place 180 days or more before the punishment is issued.
Even though he won his appeal on this particular feces-related incident, he won’t be returning to the San Antonio Police Department any time soon, if at all. That’s because he remains suspended while his appeal regarding discipline for another feces-related incident is adjudicated.
As The Dallas Morning News reports, that incident took place in June 2017. A female officer had complained that the women’s restroom at a San Antonio PD facility wasn’t being kept clean. In response, Luckhurst and another officer, identified as Steve Albart, trashed the restroom. Luckhurst allegedly defecated in one of the toilets and didn’t flush it, and smeared a brown, “tapioca-like substance” on one of the seats, according to the complaint.
Luckhurst was let go in November of that year; his case remains on appeal.
For his part, Luckhurst says that the two incidents have taught him that childish shenanigans have no place in police work.
“This has taught me to stop acting childish and making stupid baseless jokes. I need to stop the pranks and juvenile jokes to get arise [sic] or reaction from fellow officers and friends.”
It remains unclear, as of this writing, when Luckhurst’s outstanding appeal will be ruled on.