After backing up into a Pontiac Trans Am at Hamburger King in Edinburg, Justice of the Peace Homero Jasso Sr. drove off without contacting the car’s owner about the damage then returned to ask why police were called, according to an affidavit released by the city Thursday.
On Nov. 27, Edinburg police were dispatched to the parking lot of the restaurant on University Drive, located less than half-a-mile from Jasso’s Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, Place 2 office. The car’s owner told police a driver of a white GMC Yukon, an SUV, had crashed into his unoccupied vehicle.
The car’s owner, an employee of the restaurant, told police he “believed Homer Jasso had struck his vehicle,” according to the affidavit.
Following the police report made by the car’s owner, an officer questioned Jasso about the crash at his Edinburg office in November. Jasso, 74, serving his fourth term as justice of the peace, told police he was backing out of a parking spot when he struck a car. Jasso then returned to the restaurant to confront the car’s owner about his reason for calling police, the car’s owner told police 16 days after the crash, according to the affidavit.
When asked about the $1,258.48 in damage to the car, Jasso told the owner “he should pay for his damages and left,” according to the affidavit. A warrant was then issued for his arrest, according to The Advance News Journal, which first reported information about the alleged hit-and-run in its Dec. 26 issue.
The car’s owner informed police on Dec. 27 that he wanted to file charges against the well-known justice of the peace.
Jasso turned himself in to Edinburg police Wednesday on a charge of duty on striking an unattended vehicle, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine upon a conviction. He spent 11 minutes at the Hidalgo County jail before being released at 7:41 p.m., Wednesday on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond issued by Edinburg Municipal Judge Toribio “Terry” Palacios.
Jasso nor the car’s owner could not be reached for comment as of press time.
No court proceedings have been set in the criminal case brought against Jasso.