(Fort Worth, TX) – A former North Texas police officer pled guilty Thursday for his role in pepper spraying and arresting a man who filmed his son’s interactions with Keller police. Former Keller Police Sergeant Blake Shimanek pled guilty to official oppression, a Class A misdemeanor, regarding the August 15, 2020, arrest of Marco Puente.
With this plea, Shimanek was admitted to the Public Safety Employee Treatment Court, which is a diversion program run by Judge Charles Vanover, who presides over County Criminal Court 8.
As part of the plea, Shimanek was required to forfeit his peace officer license, which means he is barred from working in law enforcement in Texas.
“Our top priority is to make sure that he never works in law enforcement in Texas again,” Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Sharen Wilson said. “That has been accomplished. We also consulted with the victim and he agreed to this plea.”
If Shimanek successfully completes the diversion program, the judge will later dismiss the case. The diversion program can last anywhere from nine months to two years.
If he fails, he will be sentenced for the offense. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum fine of $4,000 and jail time of up to one year.
Shimanek resigned from the Keller Police Department last year. His last day there was February 1, 2021. The Puente family settled their civil rights claim with the city of Keller for $200,000.