Judge dismisses city, county from suit alleging false arrest at San Luis hotel

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Oct. 3, 2011, 3:12pm

GALVESTON - A local federal judge has ruled to dismiss the city of Galveston and Galveston County from a Santa Fe attorney's lawsuit over an allegedly false arrest.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt signed a 10-page order Sept. 16 releasing the governmental entities, stating plaintiff Michael Aldous has no evidence to support his allegations against them.

Aldous sued the city, the county, Landry's G.P. Inc. and numerous other individuals and entities on May 13 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas in response to his apprehension after employees of Galveston's San Luis Hotel found a pill bottle and cocaine in a room.

The plaintiff argues the San Luis head of security conspired with resort staff and other law enforcement officials to falsely charge him with a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Aldous and his spouse, secured a room on the hotel's 10th floor on May 14, 2009, and hosted a dinner party for family and friends that evening and checked out the following morning.

Court papers show a San Luis employee cleaned the room and allegedly found a 1-inch square baggie. The worker picked the object up without gloves and placed it on the TV table, the suit says.

Hotel security eventually seized the baggie and turned it in to Galveston police.

Authorities arrested Aldous, but the investigators practiced measures and techniques aimed at bolstering the false idea that the cocaine was theirs, the suit says.

The order explains that Aldous failed to prove Galveston police was deficient in any of the procedures alleged as well as failed to show Galveston County policy was implemented in the San Luis head of security's actions.

It also clears all claims against officers Gilbert Gomez, Joey Quiroga and Richard McCullor except for those of conspiracy and malicious prosecution.

Hoyt orders Aldous to amend his pleading to establish a federal basis for the claims within a 10-day period.

Case No. 3:11-cv-228

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