Mark Aguirre

Mark Aguirre

(Houston Police Department via AP)

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By Juan A. Lozano, AP

A former Houston police captain was charged with assault on Tuesday after running a man off the road and holding him at gunpoint in an effort to prove what authorities have called a bogus voter fraud scheme.

Mark Aguirre claimed that an air conditioner repairman was the mastermind of a giant voter fraud scheme. Aguirre said the man’s truck was filled with fraudulent ballots when he ran his SUV into it on Oct. 19, according to authorities.

“The defendant stated (the driver) has approximately seven hundred and fifty thousand fraudulent mail ballots and is using Hispanic children to sign the ballots because the children’s fingerprints would not appear in any databases,” according to an arrest affidavit.

Aguirre told police he and some friends set up a “command post” at a Marriott hotel in suburban Houston and conducted 24-hour surveillance on the repairman for four days, according to the affidavit. He said he then ran the man’s truck off the road, pointed a gun at him, forced him onto the ground and put a knee on his back, the affidavit said.

Police who responded to the incident searched the truck and found only air conditioning parts and tools, authorities said. Authorities did not name the truckdriver, who was not hurt.

“A lengthy investigation … determined allegations of election fraud were unfounded and no evidence of illegal ballots was found,” Houston police said.

Aguirre told a police officer at the scene, “I just hope you’re a patriot,” according to the affidavit.

Lt. Wayne Rubio with the Texas Attorney General’s Office later told police that Aguirre had asked his office to conduct a traffic stop for his investigation and when Rubio said he couldn’t do that, Aguirre said he would do it himself and “make a citizen’s arrest,” according to the affidavit.

Aguirre, 63, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Court records did not list an attorney for Aguirre.

If convicted, Aguirre faces up to 20 years in prison. Police have not identified any other suspects.

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