Officers claim termination due to refusal to arrest patient at UTMB

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Apr 14, 2011

GALVESTON � Tim Scheurer and Ivory Lartigue allege the University of Texas Medical Branch terminated them from their positions as police officers because they refused to perform a "warrantless arrest."

A lawsuit filed March 31 in Galveston County District Court explains that UTMB ordered the plaintiffs to apprehend a potential patient with no justification or probable cause. The officers claim they declined and were fired for insubordination, the original petition says.

On Oct. 18, 2010, a man went to UTMB seeking treatment. According to the suit, the UTMB wanted an emergency apprehension detention to be conducted and the man removed from the premises.

Scheurer and Lartigue state they conducted an investigation in accordance to their duties as officers and learned that the person did not present a threat to others or themselves.

"He was, in fact, sitting with family members in an examination room," the suit says.
"Based on their training and experience, they concluded there was no probable cause or justification to arrest the individual, nor any justification for handcuffing him and removing him from the UTMB facility."

The plaintiffs say their immediate supervisor asked them to perform the arrest, but they countered that such action was a violation of the Constitution.

The defendant removed them from the force shortly afterwards.

Scheurer and Lartigue seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

They are represented by The Law Offices of Kerry L. Neves.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor.

Case No. 11-cv-0548

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