Monday, November 26, 2007

Bits and pieces: Important but low-profile Texas criminal justice stories

Just a quick roundup of Texas criminal justice stories that I haven't had time to post on but which deserve Grits readers' attention:

Did Plano police conspire to set up motorist for phony DWI?
Robert Guest at I Was The State points to a troubling situation in Plano where officers allegedly falsified police reports and the city attorney is covering up for them. According to the Plano Star-Courier, three officers allegedly conspired to arrest a man as harassment on behalf of his estranged wife. Officers "claimed they had never met Sarah Boswell despite records showing the calls between the officers’ personal cell phones, both before, during and immediately after Boswell’s arrest." The city attorney defending such conduct in the story is a fool: With such a clearcut case of conspiracy, she's just going to add to the city's liability, IMO, by claiming their behavior was acceptable within their official capacity.

Jail deaths raise questions
North of Houston, the Montgomery County Courier is raising questions about three deaths in the county jail this year, one suicide and two alleged drug-related deaths. Five inmates have died this year at the much-larger Travis County jail.

Juvenile advocate profiled
Here's a nice profile of Mike Griffiths, Dallas County juvenile services chief and a respected, hands-on expert on juvenile justice matters who was an adviser to Ann Richards. He'd be an excellent choice to lead the Texas Youth Commission, if he could be convinced to take the thankless job.

Guv grants go to juvenile justice
I'm glad to see the Governor funneling criminal justice funding to incarceration alternatives and juvenile justice programs, but many of these services should be provided in state or county baseline budgets, not as one-time specialty grants. Still, the Guv deserves credit where it's due. (And I'd love to give him a lot more bloggerly credit if he'd appoint somebody like Griffiths to run TYC.)


Anonymous said...

That who TYC needs to get to run it.Mike Griffiths I well work for that man.Sounds like a very nice man.


Anonymous said...

Re: Plano. The death penalty should be available for such criminal misconduct by the police. Death.

Anonymous said...

I've known Mike for a long time, and he would make a GREAT TYC Administrator. It won't happen because he's too respected by the field of community corrections, too well versed in juvenile justice and competent enough to stay away from the politics of state government.

Anonymous said...

This is a low-profile story but one that needs to be told so no Disabled Veteran or disabled person will again be treated as this Disabled Veteran was by a suspended security guard and a Round Rock police officer.


On 09/30/07, a Disabled Veteran was mistaken for drunk inside a restaurant/club in Round Rock Texas, in the fine county of Williamson. It was mis-perceived by management that the DAV had to much to drink because of the manner in which he walked. They did not understand he walked the way he did due to an explosion that blew him off a Bradely Fighting Vehicle while serving our country.

Within 5 to 10 minutes of entering the establishment in Round Rock the DAVet was told to take it easy on the drinks or he needed to take a taxi home. He briefly explained he just got here, he was not intoxicated. Later when moving out of the way of an employee the DAVet lost his balance and fell backwards to the floor where the employee then fell forward on him. The DAVet helped the employee up and apologized. The DAVet then decided to leave because he spilled his beer on his clothes falling backwards to the floor, was embarrassed and felt bad about being perceived as drunk.

The irony regarding this entire matter was this Disabled Veteran was mistaken for being drunk not disabled. He explained again to the MatrD’and security guard that he had a balance problem because of head and ear injuries he was not intoxicated. Even with that explained he was being forced to utilize a cab. When the DAVet explained again he did not need a cab nobody seemed to want to listen to him. The DAVet refused the cab, entered his own vehicle, and started it. The cab followed our Veteran and pulled up to his front right vehicle corner. The DAVet turn to the left on an angle to clear the front of the cab. He continued on slowly about 20ft and began to turn right out the parking lot. At that moment the security guard came running up from behind opens the DAVet's driver door and pepper sprays the DAVet in the left ear and facial area. The DAVet becomes incapacitated and his vehicle continues right running into a stone column at the exit. The DAVet was parked 20 to 40feet from the exit and at least 60 to 80 yards from the building entrance where the security guard began his run to stop the DAVet from leaving the property.

After being assaulted and hitting the stone column the DAVet exited his vehicle dazed. He stood there with the security guard looking at his damaged vehicle. The DAVet asked why the security guard did that/sprayed him etc. The security guard said I told you to take a cab. The DAVet then again explained to the security guard his medical condition and pointed to his DAV license plates. The security guards face turned white as snow. The DAVet then told the security guard he was going to sue him for what he did to him and the damage to his vehicle. The security guard then walked away and went inside. The DAVet asked him to call the police and a tow truck. About 10 minutes later the security guard came back with 5 others. The 5 confronted the DAVet by asking the DAVet what his problem was and why did he try to run down security. The DAVet said what, he told them I was trying to leave and that person assaulted me with pepper spray. The DAVet then ask them who they were and that they had no business being involved. Then the MatrD’ came outside and called them all back. They all stood there talking.

The Round Rock police arrived. The security guard and his associates manipulated the Officer and turned the entire issue around, by fabricating a story that the DAVet tried to run him or them over. The DAVet was then arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The DAVet tried to explain to the RRPD Officer but he refused to listen to the DAVet or his story. In fact the RRPD never wrote any comments made by the DAVet in the police report. The RRPD police report was all one sided for the security guard. Later the DAVet learned from other law enforcemnt associates that RRPD Officers work part-time security at this establishment.

Why some may ask, why would the security guard act this way or the RRPD.
1. The security guard realized after pepper spraying the DAVet and finally listening to his last explanation, he knew he made a big mistake. Especially when the DAVet pointed to his DAV license plates.
2. The security guard knew he was a criminal and was prohibited from working security in the state of Texas by statute. A NO NO
3. The security guard has a criminal history simulair to the actions above with other citizens. HE DID IT AGAIN
4. The security guard realized he assaulted a DAV, not a drunk. OOOPs
5. The DAVet made the mistake of telling the security guard he was going to sue him for what he did to him for no legal reason. Blaming the DAVet for a crime was the security guards way of stopping that also.
6. The security guard had to come up with a way to cover-up what he did to take the focus off himself to stay out of further criminal trouble.

This security guard had been suspended since 08/01/2007 and worked security anyway. He also did a hell of a job of deception and lying, with the police, DPS, his employer and any anybody else that supported him that night.

Due the actions against our DAVet he received more injury, sent to the hospital, then sent to jail, then court with more to follow. The DAVet had to pay a $2000 Bond and much more in legal expenses, to include a damaged vehicle costing $7030.00.

This case may continue against this Veteran only because it is an embarrassment to RRPD, The City of Round Rock and Williamson County Texas. Shame on you Williamson County, RRPD, City of Round Rock, etc. This Veteran was wounded losing his ability to walk properly. He comes to Round Rock Texas to shop and enjoy himself and your city. Instead he gets treated like he was a drunken nuisance because of his gait disability. He is then persecuted for it because of misperception and corruption of law enforcement. Merry Christmas you Rotten SOB's in Williamson County law enforcement and RRPD who had any involvement in this tragedy/case. Come forward and correct this injustice for this Veteran, you know who you are. Soon we all will find out who you are!!!

Disturbing.... very disturbing!

Jeff K.
DAV Member Texas

Anonymous said...

It all started because some fuck faced lawyers like to sue alcohol selling establishments that allow drunks to drive off or whatever. The business was protecting themselves. After that, everything else got royaly screwed as well.

Anonymous said...

It is to bad that such things happen. I can understand the business side of keeping a person intoxicated from driving off. It looks like this guy tried to explain he was not drunk. Who hired the suspended guard anyway? What was that all about. Why didn't they just ask for his keys until they could determine if he was lit or not, or call the police to give him a blow test before he left the place. Using pepper spray on a disabled person in a moving vehicle is very stupid. To spray someone you beleive to be intoxicated in a moving vehicle is beyond even being extremely stupid. If the guard was suspened as a sec.guard. I would hate to own that business.

Anonymous said...

Why not name the IDIOT guard and the establishment, if all you say is true? I for one will not support them if that is how they treat our veterans/customers!

P.S. What ever happened with that Chief of probation in San Antonio?

Anonymous said...

I feel that is without a doubt shocking. What a terrible thing to do to anyone. If it went down that way the past character of this guard will be exposed. I think the veteran guy will be OK. That's williamson county for you.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately there are fools running around working in security and law enforcement in our communities. Patrol Officers have to determine in a short amount of time, who, what, where, when and how to determine the next step to take when they arrive at a call. The business where is incident occured has a serious problem if that person hired by them for security was on suspened status. Summary Suspension means this indivudal has a criminal history or has criminal charges pending. If the suspended guard was dispatch by his company to work this location, they will have an even bigger issue to contend with with the state. As for the Round Rock Police Officers actions, he again has to determine what occured base on probable cause. However, he should have accounted for the veteran's side of the issue in his report. That shows bias. That will be addressed if this should go to court. This seems to be a case a prosecutor would want to dispose of. The prosecutor can reduce the charge or offer a plea to the veteran defendant or dismiss.

It is my inclination from the writing available that it would be wise to dismiss this case. As a prosecutor the worst thing you can project or prosecute is a case tainted by law enforcement incompetence. This case as presented reeks of that.

Anonymous said...

I guess you would have to ask the Round Rock police department 5:26pm. Since one of their officers was working with the idiot security guard. It really does not matter. If our Cities throught Texas are not checking these fools working such a position we are all subject to the same treatment at some point.

Anonymous said...

RRPD lost all respect when they start doing these kinds of things. What ever happen to Assist and Protect or to Serve and Protect. I hope this veteran and his lawyer teach Round Rock law enforcement and the Court the right meaning to Serve and Protect.

Anonymous said...

What can be done when such a disgrace is committed by law enforcement. If the VET had disabled plates as most do why would police or a guard treat them this way? Sounds like a civil rights case to me.

Anonymous said...

i bet you the dav man is black.