Noise violation leads to arrest and $1M lawsuit against city of Galveston

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Apr 7, 2011

GALVESTON – A Galveston man claims he was assaulted by a police officer during an arrest and seeks $1 million from the city.

In a lawsuit filed March 30 in Galveston County District Court, Nicholas Cruz claims a Galveston police officer beat him just before he was taken into custody for allegedly creating loud noise on March 21, 2010.

Cruz states he was given a citation by an officer when another officer arrived on the scene 30 minutes later and threw him to the ground, the original petition says.

He alleges the officer struck him several times in the abdomen and then arrested him. He claims additional officers came and witnessed the assault.

Police arrested another man for interfering with Cruz's arrest and the homeowner for also violating the city's noise ordinance.

The suit says the defendant violated Cruz's Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights when it reportedly exercised excessive force on him.

"The defendant, City of Galveston, has adopted policies, procedures, practices or customs within the Galveston Police Department that allow, among other things, the use of excessive force when other more reasonable and less drastic methods were available," the original petition states.

It ultimately blames the city for negligent hiring, supervision, training and retention.

He is represented by Guerra & Farah PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss.

Case No. 11-cv-0542

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