Police: Hidalgo principal arrested for tampering with a witness

Rafael Tinoco

Law enforcement arrested Hidalgo Early College High School Principal Rafael Tinoco on Friday on charges of tampering with a witness, Hidalgo Police Chief Romeo Rodriguez said.

Police escorted Tinoco from the campus to the department Friday afternoon, the district confirmed.

“Hidalgo ISD is in full cooperation with the police department,” a statement from Hidalgo ISD reads. “As this is an ongoing investigation, the amount of information that is shared with the public is limited.”

Rodriguez says he’s anticipating his department making at least one more additional arrest this weekend or earlier next week.

“We are still investigating, so I can’t give you too much more information,” he said.

Rodriguez says more information will be available at a press conference, likely early next week.

Tinoco became interim principal of early college high in 2021 after 16 years at the district, according to a post on the school’s Facebook page.

He previously served as that school’s assistant principal, as well as being a band director with the district and principal of Hidalgo Elementary from 2017-2021.

Tinoco was booked in the Hidalgo County jail Friday evening with a $10,000 bond.

He remained in the jail as of presstime.