Former Pharr police chief struck officers during arrest, affidavit says

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Former Pharr Chief of Police Andy Harvey allegedly struck two police officers as they attempted to detain him at his home late Saturday evening, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Monitor.

According to the affidavit, two Pharr police officers arrived at Harvey’s residence on Saturday at approximately 10:17 p.m. after being dispatched in reference to an abuse of 911 service incident.

“Officers will testify, they contacted (Harvey) who exited his residence,” the affidavit read. “Officers will testify, they advised the defendant of their reason for presence.”

The officers checked Harvey’s phone, which was voluntarily handed over. During the investigation, the former police chief “took custody of his cellphone and began to walk away from said officers.”

Pharr Police Chief Andy Harvey Jr. conducts a press conference over the Gabriel Quintanilla case at the Pharr police department on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, in Pharr. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

According to the affidavit, Harvey began to enter his residence, but was told “to hold several times.” Harvey allegedly continued walking away from the police toward his house when police attempted to detain him by grabbing his arms.

As the police officers attempted to gain control of Harvey, the former police chief “continued to resist by tensing his arms, legs and holding onto the front door.”

“Officers will testify, (Harvey) was taken to the ground, where the defendant continued to resist,” the affidavit read.

It was at this point that Harvey allegedly struck one of the officers in the face with a closed fist before then striking the other officer in the face.

Harvey was then placed in handcuffs, arrested and charged with abuse of 911 service, a class B misdemeanor, and resisting arrest, a class A misdemeanor. He was transported to Pharr Police Department where he was processed and placed in a holding cell to await his arraignment.

Pharr Police Chief Andy Harvey Jr.conducts a press conference over the Gabriel Quintanilla case at the Pharr police department on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, in Pharr. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

Following Harvey’s arrest, Mark Anthony Sanchez, an attorney from San Antonio who is also representing Harvey in an open records lawsuit filed against the city of Pharr regarding his tenure at the police department released a statement on his behalf.

“As a life long (sic) peace officer who has served as Chief of Police for the City of Pharr, Andy Harvey has the utmost respect for first responders and would never intentionally abuse the public’s 9-1-1 lifeline to safety,” the statement read. “He categorically disputes any claims that he intentionally abused the public’s trust.”

The statement also alleged Pharr police stormed into his home and assaulted him.

“Further, Mr. Harvey initially cooperated with City of Pharr law enforcement officers in resolving any misunderstanding until they stormed into his home, assaulted him, and wrongfully arrested him,” the statement continued. “He is a victim of police misconduct and challenges the City of Pharr to meet him in court where justice will prevail.”

The arrest is just the latest in a tenuous relationship between Harvey and the city of Pharr since his resignation as chief on Sept. 12, 2022 and as city manager — a position he also held — on Sept. 6, 2022.