Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Big Hops Gastropub Brings Beer-centric Eats to the Northside

Big Hops Gastropub Brings Beer-centric Eats to the Northside

Food & Drink: On a recent Sunday, my wife and I drove up 281 and into the heart of San Antonio’s ever-expanding Northside suburbs to try out... By Lance Higdon 8/20/2014

Best Romantic Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
What to Know Before You Go On A Cleanse

What to Know Before You Go On A Cleanse

Food & Drink: It’s been a year since I’ve taken up this gig of eating and drinking across San Antonio. Since then, no fewer than seven juice shops have opened in the area... By Jessica Elizarraras 8/20/2014
10 Unconventional Dorm-room Recipes for Improvising Foodies

10 Unconventional Dorm-room Recipes for Improvising Foodies

College Issue 2014: Food in college can be mundane, especially when you frequent campus cafeterias. But college food doesn’t have to be boring and routine. With a... By Briana Denham 8/18/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Walking Wounded: The VA missed serious warning signs that presaged local vet’s violent breakdown

Photo: Courtesy photos, License: N/A

Courtesy photos

Adan Castaneda in 2005 after joining the Marine Corps.

Photo: Courtesy photos, License: N/A

Courtesy photos

Adan Castaneda after his 2011 arrest.

Photo: Micahel Barajas, License: N/A

Micahel Barajas

Maria Anna Esparza, still waiting for her son to "come home."

On a recent visit, Esparza says, Castaneda claimed he was taken to his room by six or seven guards, thrown down to the floor and kneed in the testicles. Jail administration later told her a review of the security tape showed Castaneda was unresponsive. “They told me that they pushed him down, and if in the scuffle that ensued he got scuffed up a bit, that was certainly possible,” she said. “I guess it’s a difference of interpretation.”

Asked if soldiers like Castaneda, who battle mental trauma following wartime service, should be handled differently in the criminal justice system, Comal County DA Tharp responded, “I don’t know that we can dictate a blanket policy on how all cases should be handled. … This particular case was evaluated and determined by the court that he was incompetent to stand trial, and at this point in time our office didn’t fight that. We could have contested that,” she said. If he regains competency, she said, he’ll face the same serious charges.

Meanwhile, Castaneda sits in isolation, waiting for a bed at the North Texas State Hospital to open up — hospital administrators tell Esparza it could be well after the first of the year before they find a spot for her son, she says. He’s still not receiving treatment, and his mental state continues to deteriorate, she insists. On a recent visit, his clothes were on backwards and inside out, there was a large slash across his right sleeve. He proceeded to show her a large gash on his back. He’s increasingly paranoid, insisting guards sneak into his cell while he’s sleeping to cut holes in this clothes. He claims they put pubic hair in his food, and he often refuses to eat. Perhaps more troubling, Castaneda’s memory continues to wear away. When Esparza visited him a day after his competency hearing, Castaneda asked why his little brother hadn’t yet visited him. “I just stared at him,” Esparza said. “What do you mean?” Castaneda, not remembering his brother’s death, had added him to his jail visitation list. “He says he’s still waiting for his brother to come visit him,” Esparza said, fighting back tears.

Esparza is fighting for the son she has left, or what’s left of him. Inside her house, pointing to where bullets struck the walls, ceiling, and even a framed picture of her dead son, she says Castaneda never really returned from Iraq.

“I just want him to get the treatment he needs. I just want him to come home.” •

* An earlier version of this story misidentified Parker as a U.S. Army chaplain. The Current regrets the error.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus