Orange Co. sued after man previously in custody of sheriff's office dies by suicide

By John Suayan | Nov 8, 2018

BEAUMONT – Port Arthur attorney Peter F. Doyle, Jr. has filed a federal lawsuit against Orange County and others on allegations the defendants neglected to follow an “emergency commitment order” after they took an area man into custody two years ago.

Doyle is representing the surviving family of Tre Robert Lee Clark, III, whom court documents filed on Nov. 6 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas claim died by suicide in early November 2016 following his release from the Orange County Jail.

The 8-page original petition explains that some 80 hours before his death, Clark was detained by the respondents as a result of an “emergency mental commitment.” Despite being taken to the Medical Center of Southeast Texas, the complaint says, the decedent was released just short of the mandated 72-hour window for treatment and observation.

Clark returned to Orange County and was arrested a few more times. Authorities reportedly continued to not abide by the original mental commitment warrant as he was again freed each time without being treated and observed.

The suit further states that Clark’s mother found him “face down under (her) carport” on the morning of Nov. 7, 2016. According to court filings, the decedent “had committed suicide by hanging himself.”

Consequently, Clark’s estate seeks $250,000 in damages.

Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case No. 1:18-CV-0579

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