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
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

Arts & Culture: San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and its history stretches long before the people behind the American or Texas Revolutions... By Mark Reagan 10/15/2014

Best Salsa Club

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012

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."

Bexar’s court was founded in the fall of 2010 after months of resistance by District Attorney Susan Reed. By the time Christian joined the veterans court at the start of 2011, it had a docket of about 8 cases. It’s now ballooned to over 50 cases, he says, with another 40 or so under consideration. Today whenever someone’s charged with a misdemeanor crime in Bexar County, they’re questioned about military service. Like most other such courts around the country, Bexar County’s court doesn’t accept felony cases, and a number of pieces must align before veterans can make their way through the system; the prosecutor must be willing to admit that emotional or mental problems stemming from military service warrant leniency in court, the victims must be willing to drop charges, and the judge has to accept and take interest in the case.

And with Bexar County’s court already receiving up to 100 referrals a month, Christian says he expects that number to jump even higher as more veterans return. “We already have this constant stream of these folks coming in,” he said. “As thousands more come back, I know we’re going to start seeing more of them.”

Attorney Allison Lanty, who’s represented numerous veterans facing misdemeanor charges in Guadalupe County’s veterans court, said, “If you have a case like this, you hope it’s in San Antonio or somewhere that’s established a court to deal with these problems.” Nearby Comal County, for instance, has no veterans court. “I’ve had multiple clients come back and tell me in order to sleep at night they have to drink,” she said. “They get a DWI and they were never drinkers before they went overseas. …They never drank, and now they do it to fight the nightmares, they tell me.”




Soon after her son’s funeral, Maria Anna Esparza got a call from the Bexar County Jail. Castaneda had totaled his car in a drunk-driving accident. Charged with a DWI and assault on a police officer, he made bail and moved back in with his mother and stepfather. “His behavior became very edgy. He couldn’t do anything just a little bit. He had to do it a lot,” Esparza says.

He’d stay up late into the night, drinking entire cases of Red Bull. When a doctor prescribed him valium, he took the whole bottle. “He wasn’t even aware of what he had done. He couldn’t find the pills the next day, didn’t know why the bottle was empty,” she says. When his doctor stopped prescribing valium, fearing he’d overdose, Castaneda again turned to alcohol. One night he took the family truck and drove it to a nearby H-E-B. Police called Esparza later that night saying they found Castaneda wandering the parking lot in a daze, trying to break into cars. Then one night that summer, Castaneda pulled a pistol inside the house, pointing it to his head. “He said, ‘I need meds, I need something to keep me from doing this,’” Esparza recalled. She called the VA’s suicide hotline; Castaneda left. She gathered all the guns and fled with her husband and granddaughter.

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