Park Ranger Paul Matthew Pytel

Park Ranger Paul Matthew Pytel

San Antonio Park Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, July 31, 1994

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Paul Matthew Pytel

Park Ranger Paul Pytel drowned in Salado Creek while chasing a gang-related shooting suspect through Martin Luther King Park.

He and another park ranger heard the shooting and chased two suspects into the park while calling for backup. A San Antonio police officer arrived on the scene and was taking the two suspects into custody on one side of the creek when Ranger Pytel either jumped or fell into the creek on the other side. Six other officers jumped into the creek in an attempt to save him when he failed to resurface.

The two subjects were charged in connection with Park Ranger Pytel's death under the state's Calderon Law, which was enacted following the death of Patrolman Patricia Calderon, who drowned in the same creek while chasing a suspect on December 27th, 1988.

Ranger Pytel had served with the San Antonio Park Police Department for nine years. He is survived by his wife, parents, sister, and two brothers.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge 9826

Incident Details

  • Cause Drowned

foot pursuit, gang member, shooting call

Most Recent Reflection

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I was paging through past issues of IPMBA News and found a short article about Paul in the October 1994 issue. It states that Paul was one of the first bicycle patrol officers and helped initiate the San Antonio Park Police bike patrol in 1991. At that time, funds were being raised to place a Park Ranger Memorial at Hemisfair Park, site of the 1994 IPMBA Police on Bikes Competition. I wonder if the efforts were successful. I do know that the San Antonio Park Police Bike Patrol has been an ongoing success, which would no doubt make Paul proud.

Maureen Becker, Executive Director
International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA)

March 21, 2024

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