New charge for jockey accused of shocking horse with buzzer

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Suspended and criminally charged jockey Roman Chapa was arrested on a new charge, just minutes after showing up at a Harris County Court hearing Wednesday.

The new allegations concern making false statements to investigators, a felony, officials told ABC-13.

Ted Oberg Investigates has been following the case against Chapa who was charged last month with a felony for allegedly using an electronic buzzer on his horse.

See the previous report here: Jockey suspended in Texas 25 times for breaking rules could race again

The case centers on a photograph of Chapa and the horse he was riding, Quiet Acceleration, in full stride. A key part of the photo: An alleged buzzer device in the jockey's left hand.

Chapa said that the device was photoshopped into the photo. The Texas Racing Commission suspended Chapa for five years, despite Chapa's claims.

Sam Houston Race Park photographer Jack Coady took the photo during the January 17 race.

Hours after the photo was posted online Chapa texted and called Coady, asking him to remove the photo, Coady told the racing commission under oath.

"He (Chapa) said it was a bad picture and to take it down and get it off the website," Coady said.

But allegedly, that is not what Chapa told racing investigators.

"Mr. Chapa was specifically asked if he had contact with Mr. Coady after he saw that photograph. Mr. Chapa denied that contact," Assistant Harris County District Attorney Courtney Chester said. "We were able to obtain phone records that proved he had several communications with Mr Coady."

Chapa has been suspended by Texas racing officials 25 times since 1993, records show.

Three of Chapa's suspensions were for fighting and another was for cursing at a Texas race official at a track -- while he was under suspension for another violation. Many of the other suspensions were for violations of racing protocol.

Chapa has also been fined 29 times in Texas since 1993, according to records.

Chapa, 43, declined to comment to ABC-13 about his current case or his prior suspensions for racing with electric shock devices or off-track animal abuse allegations.
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