Lufkin PD sued after arresting non-English speaking Hispanic

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jan. 26, 2011, 10:52am

LUFKIN - The Lufkin Police Department is being sued for allegedly violating the civil rights of a Hispanic resident.

Claiming the officers illegally entered his home, Marco Sauceda filed suit against city of Lufkin, Lufkin Police Department, John Davis, Jason Vance, Christopher Carroll, Trent Sobolewski and Christopher Rodriguez, all individually and as Lufkin police officers, and Jerry Smith, individually and as supervisor for the city.

The suit was filed on Jan. 21 in the Eastern District of Texas, Lufkin Division.

According to the lawsuit, Sauceda was in the locked bathroom of his residence when the police officers entered the home. Sauceda claims the entry was made without probable cause.

The officers removed the hinges from the bathroom door, released some form of gas and kicked in the door.

Sauceda does not speak English and did not understand what the officers were saying. His lawyer states the officers continued to beat Sauceda with excessive force causing bruises and a severe head injury.

Sauceda was taken to jail after receiving medical treatment. The charges were later dismissed.

The city, the police department, the officers and Lt. Jerry Smith violated Sauceda's Fourth and Eighth amendment rights by their actions and inactions, the suit states.

The defendants are accused of treating Hispanic individuals differently, tolerating improper residence entry, using excessive force and conducting absurd prosecutions.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical injury, mental anguish, physical problems, attorney's fees and medical expenses.

Sauceda is represented by Lufkin attorneys T. Ryan Deaton and David L. Allen.

U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone is assigned to the case.

Case No. 9:11-cv-00013

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