Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

February 7, 2014

Man receives 20 years in jail after attempting to run over deputy

Progress staff reports
Jacksonville Daily Progress

CHEROKEE COUNTY — On Jan. 30, Roel Jesus Gallegos led no contest to the charge of aggravated assault of a public servant for the April 8, 2012 crime of nearly running down Deputy Brent Dickson of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.

Gallegos elected to have the judge decide his punishment, and the trial began Feb. 4 in front of visiting Judge Joe Clayton in the 2nd Judicial District Court of Cherokee County. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Rachel Patton and Assistant District Attorney Charles Breaux.

Gallegos was sentenced to 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the crime.

The offense occurred on CR 3303, just outside Jacksonville, according to a press release from the Cherokee County District Attorney's office.

Dickson was responding to gunshots fired in the area, when he stopped a 1995 Lincoln towncar, driving by Gallegos. Dickson repeatedly ordered Gallegos and his passenger to show their hands because he felt there was a gun in the vehicle, the release said.

Gallegos only momentarily showed Dickson his hands, while passenger, Eric Torres, did not. After repeated demands by Dickson to show his hands, Gallegos revved the engine and accelerated towards Dickson, forcing the deputy to shoot at the oncoming vehicle. Gallegos hit the driver's door of the police unit at a high rate of speed, the release said.

Dickson was barely able to get out of the way in time. Gallegos attempted to flee the area, but he was stopped less than a mile away by another deputy.

During the trial, the court heart testimony that Gallegos is a member of the Southside 13 gang and has previously been involved in violent gang activities.

On the stand, Gallegos admitted that he and Torres were out drinking and trying out a new gun, shooting it in the air on CR 3303. He claimed that he panicked when he saw the officer's emergency lights.

However, during the cross examination, Gallegos admitted that he knew he would have to go through Dickson and his patrol car to get away. When confronted with the fact that his tire tracks never swerved away from the collision course with the deputy and his patrol car, Gallegos said he did not care if Dickson was injured or killed.

According to the release, Gallegos also never expressed any concern for the deputy or his