Former West Texas Roughnecks director of operations Ernesto “Ernie” Salcido was arrested Thursday at the Roughnecks offices, but it wasn’t his first brush with the law.
Team owner Dale Morris said the whole situation was a surprise.
“Everyone who knows this young gentleman is shocked,” Morris said.
According to police affidavits, the 30-year-old Salcido sent text messages requesting sexual images of a 14-year-old girl and, without the knowledge of his coworkers, recorded them using the bathroom.
On Saturday, Salcido posted a $10,000 bond to leave the Midland jail on one charge of improper photography/visual recording. But it wasn’t his first arrest in the area.
According to Odessa police reports, two girls younger than 17 reported that on March 3, 1999, they saw Ernesto Salcido, then 19, masturbating in the 800 block of West 19th Street.
Salcido was arrested and charged with two felony counts of indecency with a child by exposure, according to Ector County Detention Center records.
But District Attorney Bobby Bland said that according to his office’s records, the parents of the victims did not wish to prosecute in that case.
Public information shows that Salcido was arrested by San Angelo police Feb. 4, 2002, on a class A misdemeanor of public lewdness.
According to Tom Green County Clerk records, Salcido “had his pants open exposing his erect penis” to a woman.
Public records show Salcido pleaded no contest to a class B misdemeanor of public indecency and according to the Tom Green County Clerk records, Salcido received deferred adjudication of nine months probation and a fine of $300.
Salcido was hired by the Odessa Roughnecks organization in 2008. The team was sold to its current ownership and renamed the West Texas Roughnecks in January.
Former owner Brandon Smith and former general manager Harold Fuller have both said that themselves and others personally informed Dale Morris about the texting and the videotapes.
Morris has stressed that Salcido was only rehired in the middle of April and the current organization has nothing to do with his alleged crimes.
“If I had prior knowledge, I wouldn’t have hired him,” Morris said, although he said he hadn’t done a background check.
The mother of the 14-year-old girl identified in the police affidavit said that on two separate occasions she heard former owner Albert Smith tell Morris there was an ongoing investigation. The mother said the inappropriate text messages were only the last straw.
The woman, who worked at a company related to the Odessa Roughnecks, said that her daughter’s job during the 2009 season was to help the smaller mascot “Derrick” in and out of his suit and escort him around the stadium because the mascot was a small boy.
The woman said Salcido, who was the mascot “Digger” in 2008 and 2009, began to ask her daughter to help him out of his suit in the locker room at home games, then keep her daughter and the other boy locked in the room while Salcido showered.
“My daughter was very naïve and didn’t want to lose her job,” the woman said.
The woman said when in September she discovered text messages Salcido sent her daughter, she informed her superiors, who fired Salcido the same day.
According to the affidavit, the report of the text message began the Odessa police investigation that ended with Salcido being arrested Thursday.
However, Odessa Police Cpl. Sherrie Carruth said Midland authorities only served one of the three warrants against Salcido. Although he legally bonded out, he was still wanted for the other two warrants, which weren’t served because they were inadvertently attached to paperwork, Carruth said.
A spokesperson at the Ector County Detention Center said Salcido had turned himself in Monday evening and was being held without bond Monday night on two counts of improper photography/visual recording.
>> March 1999: Odessa police arrest Salcido on charges of indecency with a child, exposure. The charges are later dropped.
>> February 2002: San Angelo police arrest Salcido on charges of public lewdness. Salcido pleads no contest to a lesser charge of public indecency.
>> September 2009: Salcido is fired by the Odessa Roughnecks organization as mascot and assistant general manager.
>> April: Salcido is hired by the West Texas Roughnecks organization as director of operations.
>> May 6: Salcido is arrested as part of an investigation begun September 2009.
>> May 8: Salcido is released from the Midland County Central Detention Center on $10,000 bond.
>> May 10: Salcido turns himself in to the Ector County Detention Center on two outstanding warrants from his May 6 arrest.