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UPDATE: Mathis officials respond to DWI investigation

Nathan Coates will remain a Mathis police officer
Posted at 8:40 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 21:40:44-05

CORPUS CHRISTI — Mathis City leaders decided Tuesday night to keep a police officer employed after being informed he had a blood alcohol content nearly twice the legal limit when he crashed into a big rig in May.

Nathan Coates, 52, was a San Patricio sheriff’s deputy at the time of the accident but was hired as a Mathis police officer in August.

After a KRIS 6 News investigates story looked into the incident involving Coates, Mathis City Council held a closed session to discuss the story and his employment.

City manager, Michael Barerra said no action was taken and he doesn’t plan to bring up the subject again.

According to a TXDOT crash report, on April 21, Coates was driving down Baker Road just before 5 p.m. when he ran a stop sign and hit an 18-wheeler.

The driver of the big rig was okay but Coates was flown to Christus Spohn Hospital Shoreline with serious injuries and a blood alcohol content of .141

Investigators learned Coates was stopped a couple of hours before that accident for swerving which was captured on a Bee County sheriff deputy's body cam.

In the video, Coates tell the deputy he works for the San Patricio County Sheriff’s office and was tired from working overnight.

The deputy let Coates leave without a citation.

Bee County has not pursued any charges.

Mathis Police Chief Marshall Roush said he was able to hire Coates because he did not have a criminal record and was honorably discharged from San Patricio County.

“We try to hire the best people available to us and we wouldn’t hire anybody that we felt would put our citizens in harm’s way,” Mathis Mayor Ciri Villarreal said when reached by phone.

Barerra said he was aware that Coates and Mathis Roush had previously worked together before he hired Coates.

Barerra said he didn't know about Coates blood alcohol content during the accidents said like all newer city employees, Coates is on probation. So, like any employee, they will be monitoring his conduct over the next year.