Galveston County man alleges Webster police officer guilty of false arrest

By Robbie Hargett | Dec 28, 2015

GALVESTON -- A Galveston County man is suing a Texas municipality and one of its police officers, alleging false arrest and excessive force.

Robert Alden, 29, filed a civil action lawsuit Sept. 8 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas against officer P.J. Behler and the city of Webster, alleging violations of the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

On Sept. 7, 2013, the complaint states, Behler pulled over Alden for a traffic violation as the plaintiff was driving in Webster. The suit says Alden consented to Behler's request to search his vehicle, but declined to tell him where he worked when the officer asked.

The complaint alleges Behler began to arrest Alden, throwing him to the ground, twisting his arm, putting his knee in Alden's back and otherwise using excessive force.

Alden was charged with interfering with public duties of a police officer, although the complaint alleges the plaintiff was not resisting arrest nor interfering with public duties.

After Alden paid bond and hired a criminal defense lawyer, the case was dismissed in his favor in December 2013. Alden complained to the Webster Police Department and now-deceased Chief Ray Smiley about his treatment but nothing was done to discipline Behler, who had used excessive force and falsely charged others on several prior occasions, the complaint alleges.

The lawsuit states Webster and its police department have customs and practices similar to those used by Behler. The plaintiff alleges mental anguish, pain and suffering.

Alden seeks punitive damages, court costs and attorney fees. He is represented by attorney Randall L. Kallinen of the Law Office of Randall L. Kallinen PLLC in Houston.

Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case number 3:15-cv-00240

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