Parents blame Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County for son's death

By Travis Zuellig | Feb 10, 2016

SHERMAN — Two parents are suing Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County, including employees of the respective police and sheriff’s departments, alleging wrongful death of their son.

Shelley Ross, representative of the estate of Chance Ross, and Tony Ross filed a lawsuit Feb. 4 in the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas against the city of  Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County, city lieutenant Brad Horton, city police officers Adrian I. Pruitt, Brandon S. Mayes and Joe D. Scott, county deputies Paul Fenimore and Nick Floyd, and county jailer Jeff Hightower, alleging excessive force, failure to protect, liability and infliction of emotional distress.

According to the complaint, Chance Ross diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was living alone in Sulphur Springs and was assisted and supported by his family. Ross had been arrested numerous times for public intoxication or disorderly conduct, the suit states, and during the morning hours of March 6, 2015, Ross was released from Hopkins County jail after being arrested for public intoxication.

The lawsuit states the weather was cold and Chance Ross was not adequately clothed for the weather conditions. Later that afternoon, he was arrested as a suspicious person without a shirt by city officers, who used excessive force and an electronic control weapon, the suit states.

Ross was taken to the county jail, the complaint says, and was stripped of his clothing due to the multiple weapon discharges. He was placed in a special cell, subjected to more excessive force, and was left in the cell unattended for approximately 18 minutes, the suit says.

When the officers returned, Ross was found to barely have a pulse, and was transferred to a Tyler medical facility where he later died, the suit states.

Shelly and Tony Ross seek a jury trial, damages for emotional distress, medical and funeral expenses, plus attorney fees. They are represented by attorney David D. Davis of the Law Office of David D. Davis PLLC in Grand Prairie.

Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case number 4:16-cv-00095-ALM-CAN

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