GALVESTON - The city of Galveston is the target of a federal lawsuit alleging its police officers exerted excessive force on a man last March.
According to recent court documents filed Aug. 12 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas, plaintiff Reginald Leon Davis was reportedly beaten on a Galveston beach by officers Archie Chapman Jr. and Jose H. Santos Jr. the morning of March 19.
Chapman and Santos join their employer as co-defendants in the litigation.
The suit explains that Davis, a La Marque resident, was on his way home from a last-minute study session at a Galveston Denny's prior to the event in question, stating extreme exhaustion prompted the complainant to pull his vehicle over on Seawall Boulevard and rest.
He was then awakened by Santos, who ordered the plaintiff to exit his vehicle and place his hands on the hood of the police cruiser.
Davis says he subsequently fled on foot to the beach below for fear "that he might be arrested."
Santos gave chase and discharged his Taser on the plaintiff, knocking the latter to the ground, the suit says.
It adds the officer tackled and held Davis faced down on the edge of the water.
"From a video taken from a police dash camera, it is clear that Officer Santos was able to restrain Mr. Davis, who is seen laying on his stomach and does not appear to resist until a wave from the rising tide submerges his face under water," the original petition says.
The plaintiff further claims that Chapman appears in the video and "immediately" kicks him in the head multiple times as well as purposely submerge his face under water.
More officers arrived only to supposedly deliver more blows to Davis, who "does not appear to resist until it becomes clear that he is in fear of drowning," the suit says.
Authorities eventually handcuffed the plaintiff and escorted him from the beach.
The suit argues photographs reveal that the complainant sustained injuries to his face and arm.
"Since the incident, Mr. Davis has continued to have difficulty sleeping at night due to headaches and other post-concussion like syndromes, and he has also had to seek treatment for injuries to his arm, neck, shoulders and back," it says.
A jury trial is requested.
Attorney C. Chad Pinkerton of The Pinkerton Law Firm PLLC in Houston is representing Davis.
Case No. 3:13-CV-287