AUSTIN -- The parents of the 17-year-old Cedar Creek High School student tased by a Bastrop County Sheriff's Deputy are speaking out.
Noe Nino de Rivera's parents Oscar and Maria said do not believe the deputy had any grounds to use the Taser last November. Their lawyer Adam Loewy says the tasing was a brutal display of aggressive force.
Noe's parents accompanied Loewy at his law firm Wednesday for a presentation of the newly released school surveillance video to the media.
Noe's mother, Maria Acosta, winced as she watched her son get hit and fall to the ground, a moment in time that caused him to spend 52 days in a coma.
"Thank you for praying [for] my son and family," Acosta said.
She handed over the podium to her older brother, Jesus Nino de Rivera.
"It's been tough, the situation he's in," Jesus said.
The KVUE Defenders and the Austin American-Statesman obtained the video in advance of Wednesday's official release.
Loewy described what he sees in the surveillance: Noe's backpack. He says that proves that Noe was in fact trying to restrain a girl that had just been fighting with another girl in the hallway.
"Right here, you see Noe holding back a young lady," Loewy said. "This young lady had been in an altercation with another young lady. Noe was breaking up the fight."
He mentioned how hallway traffic was moving around them, and that Noe continues to hold the girl back when deputies Randy McMillan and Timothy Stalcup arrive.
Loewy says in the video, the deputies move to the middle of the hall and then tase Noe, and he falls to the ground. Loewy says the video shows Noe did not have a weapon and was not aggressive, claiming the tasing was unjustified.
"He is a teenager," Loewy said. "If there was an issue, grab him. If there was an issue, why are you tasing him?"
KVUE contacted the Bastrop County Sheriff's Department for comment regarding the video. Bastrop County district attorney Bryan Goertz released the following statement:
"This matter is currently the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation by the Texas Rangers and also the subject of civil litigation against Bastrop County. As such, it would be improper to comment on any of the specifics of this matter at this time. That having been said, I have a great deal of confidence in the justice system and feel that the public is usually better served and will have a much better understanding of what actually did and did not happen if they rely on information gleaned from within a court proceeding as opposed to a press conference called by a plaintiff's attorney."
In previous interviews, department spokesperson Sissy Jones defended the deputy, saying he was just trying to break up the fight.
"That's when he resisted completely and was fighting off the officers," Jones said. "Through the altercation, the officer ended up Tasing him."
Family members claim the video shows otherwise.
"He went in there [and] tried to stop the fight, and in that situation, he got hurt," Jesus said.
Noe spent 52 days in a medically induced coma. He woke up two weeks ago.
"He just says, 'Hi, how are you doing, brother? What happened to me? What happened to me? Why am I in here?'" Jesus said.
Family members say they hope Noe will be out of the hospital this week, but that his recovery is far from over.