Arkansas woman sues city of Houston after police allegedly shoot son

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Feb 13, 2013

HOUSTON - The mother of a 24-year-old man who was allegedly shot to death by a Houston police officer on Christmas Day 2011 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Houston. 

Patsy C. Pate of Lonoke County, Ark., filed suit against the city and Officer Curtis W. Hampton in federal court on behalf of her son, Blake A. Pate.

She alleges the officer used "excessively deadly force" on Blake Pate after he was in an auto collision in Northeast Houston on Dec. 25, 2011.

According to the suit, the decedent was driving his vehicle between the homes of two members of his family when he got into an accident near the Lakecrest Village Apartment Complex along Tidwell Road.

The wreck caused Blake Pate to leave the roadway, strike a tree and come to rest in a roadside ditch.

Meanwhile, Officer Hampton was exiting the apartment complex after responding to an unrelated call when he saw the accident and went to investigate.

The suit states that Blake Pate freed himself from his damaged vehicle and made his way toward the nearest streetlight. According to the suit, Blake Pate was stunned and bleeding from his face with his hands extended in front of him.

Shortly afterwards, Hampton drew his service pistol and fired four shots at Blake Pate "at an extreme close range," the original petition says.

Blake Pate was reportedly hit in the thigh, chest and neck and died from his injuries in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2011.

Patsy C. Pate asserts that her son was "completely unarmed" and posed no threat to Hampton nor attacked him.

Hampton, who "was not in fear of his life or bodily injury or that of another [shooting]", allegedly called the paramedics and reported the shooting to his superiors, but "failed to personally render any on-scene medical attention," the suit says.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney David W. Hodges with Kennedy Hodges LLP in Houston is representing Blake A. Pate's estate.

Case No. 4:13-CV-326

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