Molly English-Bowers Sep. 11, 2015, 12:42pm


A Harris County man is suing members of the Harris County Sheriff's Department, alleging violation of his civil rights, pursuant to the constitutions of the United States and Texas.

Gene Gerard Basler filed a lawsuit Aug. 5 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Deputy Erik Barron, Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Harris County and Does 1 through 10.

According to the complaint, Barron, while in the course of selective traffic enforcement program duties, acted inappropriately and unprofessionally toward a motorist he had attempted to pull over June 20, 2014 in Houston. The suit says Basler, riding his bicycle, witnessed the encounter and started recording it on his smartphone.

The lawsuit states the officer ordered Basler to leave, threatened him with arrest, left the motorist and approached him. The plaintiff alleges Barron assaulted him and ultimately confiscated his cell phone after he arrested him, charging Basler with Interference with public duties.

Basler posted bail and shortly thereafter received his phone but he noticed the first portion of his recording of the defendant was missing.

The plaintiff is suing Garcia and others responsible for establishing Sheriff's Department rules with failure to establish policy, failure to train and failure to supervise

He further alleges violation of his civil rights, battery, false arrest/false imprisonment, conversion regarding the Sheriff's Department's handling of his cell phone and trespass to chattels for confiscating his bicycle.

Basler seeks a jury trial, damages, court costs and attorney fees. He is represented by attorneys Jerold D. Friedman of Cypress, and Tim Hoffman of the National Lawyers Guild in New York.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number 4:15-cv-02254.

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