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Lawsuit filed against Bastrop County Sheriff's Office over in-custody death

The family of Armando Mascarro has filed a lawsuit against the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office, and other officers, over his in-custody death in September 2020.

BASTROP COUNTY, Texas — The family of a man who died while in the custody of the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office is now suing the department.

The federal lawsuit filed on May 11, 2022, alleges that deputies with the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office and other agencies violated the rights of 27-year-old Armando Mascorro and that those violations ultimately led to his death.

Mascorro's in-custody death has already been considered by a Bastrop County grand jury last year and none of the deputies were indicted.

Mascorro died in September 2020 after being arrested by Bastrop County deputies. The suit alleges he was tasered, beaten with batons, and dragged by a deputy on horseback. Mascorro was pronounced dead at the hospital that same day. Mascorro's mother said he had some mental health and addiction issues, but that he was a happy and good man.

“My son, people who didn't know him, because there were a lot of people who knew him, knew he was very for everything. I don't know, very happy, my son. Outside of the problem he had with addiction, let’s say, he was a very good man,” Eunice Prieto Molina, mother of Armando Mascorro, said in Spanish.

The attorney for the family said they just want more transparency.

"We've had very little luck getting transparency and cooperation from the folks in Bastrop County,” said Robert Ranco with DC Law. “And when you don't get cooperation or transparency, we're forced to file a lawsuit at this time because we're hoping that we can create more transparency, more sharing, more accountability by way of litigation."

Six deputies with Bastrop County, three officers with the Elgin Police Department, and one Texas DPS state trooper are all named in the lawsuit. One of the police officers named in the incident, Chris Noble, was since promoted and is now the chief of police in Elgin.

Over the past two days, we have reached out multiple times to the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office and the Elgin Police Department, but have not heard back. We did hear back from Texas DPS who said they will not comment due to pending litigation.

We have also requested an autopsy report from the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office since Mascorro died at the hospital in Austin. A spokesperson told us that due to a law enforcement objection they cannot release that report.

The full lawsuit can be read here.

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