Austin police officer sues man he helped arrest



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Posted on February 10, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 10 at 11:18 PM

AUSTIN -- Austin police officer Roy Martinez is suing a man he helped arrest, as well as the man's mother. The officer's attorney, James Wood, says the money recouped would help repay the city for medical expenses it covered for the officers injuries.

Police say they got a tip that DeShawn McClain was trafficking crack cocaine.

According to an arrest warrant, they saw him make an illegal left hand turn across several lanes of traffic into a Valero gas station. When they turned on lights to make an arrest, he tried to pull away, eventually  hitting two police cars, then Martinez.

Martinez was thrown ten feet in the air and landed on the concrete curb of a gas pump. Martinez has a splitting fracture along the bone of his left thumb, a large hematoma on his upper left arm and knee injuries. He was transported by ambulance to the emergency room. 

Also according to the arrest warrant for McClain, he hit several vehicles on the road while fleeing from this gas station. He eventually abandoned his car and ran, but he captured and subdued with a taser.

Wood says he's been successful over the past few years in cases like this.

"And the situation is the same. The city has footed the bill for the medical treatment. And then our efforts go for the responsible party, and through car insurance to recover some lump judgment, and we pay the city back," said Wood.

McClain's Mother is also named in the lawsuit, since she owns the car he was driving. KVUE knocked on her door and left messages, but couldn't reach her for reaction.

Police say they found 24 grams of crack cocaine, what they call the equivalent of 123 street level drug transactions in the car.

"We are asking for pain and suffering and time off of work and then extra damages for the bad behavior that night," said Wood.

However, Wood says the case could be capped at $30,000 if the the car is only insured at the minimum required by state law.

McClain is in the Travis County jail charged with aggravated assault on a public servant, evading arrest and possession of a controlled substance.


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