Sheriff’s deputy on paid leave following assault arrest

A deputy with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office has been placed on leave with pay after he was arrested Friday morning on assault allegations.

According to a news release, Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra was informed of an incident involving deputy Bernardo Garcia Mata of Peñitas on Saturday, Feb. 22, allegedly involving a family violence assault.

The Criminal Investigations Division worked the case and the deputy was arrested Friday. His charges are assault family violence (impeding breath), a third degree felony, and criminal mischief, a Class A misdemeanor.

Mata has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending an internal investigation, which is standard protocol.

“I am committed to preserving the public’s confidence and trust in the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office,” Guerra said in the news release. “We will continue to investigate any and all allegations of employee misconduct, and I will take the necessary and appropriate actions to maintain accountability and transparency to you, the citizens we serve.”