Since joining the San Antonio Police Department in 1993, Lee Rakun did as he was pleased as he moved up in the ranks; the quintessential dirty cop who would get fired every now and then for his lies, violence and insubordination but who would always win his job back complete with back pay after appealing through arbitration.
He was a lieutenant by the time he retired in February 2020 after seven failed attempts to fire him over the years. He was also the city’s highest-paid employee that year with an income of $447,000, more than the city manager who made slightly less.
But karma finally caught up to the 53-year-old former cop this year after he was involved in yet another domestic violence incident but without the Blue Privilege to protect him, leaving him facing a string of attempted murder charges that may send him to prison for decades.
The latest incident took place on July 13, 2021 in Sevierville, Tennessee where he had been living with his family after retiring.
The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office said that Rakun was in a drunken rampage when he stabbed his adult son in the back and shot at his adult daughter as they both tried to flee the home for safety.
He also shot at a deputy responding to a 911 call from his children who then fired back, striking the former cop. And he killed his son’s dog which had been left behind in the basement after the son and daughter fled the home, according to the Mountain Press in Tennessee.
Raken remained hospitalized from the shooting for a month before he was charged with two counts of aggravated domestic assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated cruelty to animals, and leaving the scene of an accident, the Mountain Press reported. Two weeks later, a grand jury indicted him on first degree attempted murder as well as second-degree attempted murder for the attacks on his children and the deputy.
He remained incarcerated until September 2 which was when he bonded out after paying $500,000 in cash –just over what he made in 2020.
It does not look good for Raken now that he no longer has a rigged arbitration system to protect his dirty deeds. But even if he is convicted and sentenced to prison, he will likely remain protected from the general population who don’t take too kindly to former cops turned inmates.
We can only imagine how many lives he has destroyed over the past two decades.
History with San Antonio police
Raken’s disciplinary history has long been documented by local media, including the following passage from a 2010 San Antonio Express-News article:
One year after first hitting the streets as a San Antonio police officer, Lee Rakun received his first disciplinary suspension.
It was a dubious beginning to a 17-year career riddled with 13 more suspensions, the latest one just last month, which accused Rakun, by then an SAPD lieutenant, of lying to investigators, disobeying orders and failing to report a domestic violence incident this year.
Police Chief William McManus dismissed Rakun on Sept. 9 with an indefinite suspension in the latest case.
But as Rakun, 41, did with most of his previous suspensions, he is fighting back, saying he was the one wronged by his ex-girlfriend and predicting that the case will fall apart in arbitration.
“It’s very frustrating for me to sit here with no job, my kids aren’t getting insurance, all because of an angry girlfriend,” Rakun said.
He conceded his past has been tarnished with disciplinary problems, but he called this recent case a “soap opera” scripted by a woman he has dated on and off since meeting her in the SAPD records office in 2005.
In 2018 after years of reporting on Raken’s mockery of the system, the San Antonio Express-News posted the following timeline outlining the attempted disciplinary action against Raken over more than two decades.
- 11/4/94: 1-day suspension – Fought with his in-laws while off-duty, requiring police officers to respond.
- 9/17/95: 5-day suspension – Left work without authorization and returned home to confront his wife. After Live Oak police officers arrived, he became emotional and said he wished he wasn’t alive.
- 7/3/96: 3-day suspension – Asked a nurse at the Bexar County Detention Center where she got her training. “You don’t even want to start something with me,” he said.
- 10/19/99: 5-day suspension – Was insubordinate and discourteous after his commander asked him to make corrections to a police report.
- 4/14/05: 20-day suspension reduced to an agreed 3-day suspension – Told another sergeant he did not have the right skin tone for the shift. Made facial expressions and rolled his eyes during roll call, staff meetings.
- 4/14/05: Indefinite suspension reduced to an agreed 10-day suspension – Was disrespectful to Kendall County sheriff’s deputies who responded to his home after receiving a complaint.
- 6/13/05: 10-day suspension reduced to 5 days – Left three voicemails for his wife’s divorce lawyer that contained vulgar, profane language.
- 8/2/05: 10-day agreed suspension – Details unavailable.
- 8/23/05: 5-day suspension – Failed to wear his complete SAPD uniform while working off-duty.
- 10/19/05: 30-day suspension – Left two threatening and profane voicemails for a former friend. Threatened to make the person’s life miserable.
- 12/1/05: Indefinite suspension later dismissed – Charged by the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office with harassment after making obscene comments to a man. He won his job back.
- 1/20/06: Indefinite suspension reduced to 20 days – Disobeyed a no-contact order after an alleged dating violence incident. He won his job back.
- 4/4/06: 40-day suspension reduced to an agreed 30-day suspension – Made disparaging comments to a Bexar County sheriff’s deputy while appearing as a witness in court.
- 9/9/10: Indefinite suspension reduced to 125 days – Was involved in two dating violence incidents with his girlfriend. Lied to SAPD detectives and said his girlfriend had been injured during an ATV accident. Also lied and claimed he had been sexually assaulted by his girlfriend. He won his job back.
- 7/10/12: Indefinite suspension reduced to 45 days – Made obscene comments and used racial slurs when talking to a off-duty Bexar County constable while drunk at a bar. Told the deputy he was a captain at SAPD who would ruin the constable’s career. He won his job back.
- 6/6/18: Indefinite suspension – Left his substation while on duty in his own vehicle, not a patrol vehicle as mandated. He is appealing.
- 6/11/18: Indefinite suspension – Made a derogatory comment about Police Chief William McManus on social media. He is appealing.
It was after his latest appeal that the city agreed to pay him $150,000 in back pay if he agreed to retire which he did in February and why he received the highest compensation of all city employees that year, the San Antonio Express-News reported earlier this week.
He then moved to Tennessee with his money, pension and family and an opportunity to begin a new life. But karma caught up to him finally and he will probably spend several years behind bars.