Waco man accused of trying to run over men in dispute over ‘prime’ panhandling corner spot

San Luis Bernal Vera is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
San Luis Bernal Vera is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon(KWTX GRAPHIC)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 3:20 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - An escalating squabble between panhandlers over a prime corner spot led to the arrest of a Waco man.

Waco police arrested San Luis Bernal Vera, 55, on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after two men reported Vera tried to run over them with his 2001 Dodge pickup on May 24.

The men told police Vera drove his pickup toward them in the 3600 block of Marlin Highway in an attempt to run over them. The men said they saw him coming and ran for safety under an overpass.

“The accused drove purposefully toward them in an attempt to run them over,” an arrest affidavit states. “The victims then ran to the corner store to wait for police.”

When police arrived, the men pointed out the vehicle that tried to hit them. Officers followed the truck to the 2100 block of East Tinsley Drive, where Vera stopped.

Officers reported that Vera “said that he had an ongoing dispute with the victims over the corner location where he panhandles,” the affidavit alleges.

Vera also was charged with disorderly conduct, a Class B misdemeanor, in an unrelated incident in Robinson on Jan. 22.

According to arrest documents in that case, Vera pulled up to the drive-through window at Marco’s Pizza, 1000 N. Robinson Drive, in the same gray pickup and asked to place an order. An employee told him that orders had to be placed inside and could only be picked up in the drive-through lane, an arrest affidavit alleges.

“The suspect then picked up a handgun that was in his lap and racked the slide and said, ‘OK,’ then drove off,” according to an arrest affidavit.

The employee photographed the truck and license plate with her phone and reported the incident to Robinson police.

Vera remained in the McLennan County Jail Thursday under bonds totaling $21,000.