Texas Hogtie Victim’s Family Sues City of Pasadena, Police Officers

Civil rights lawsuit filed after Jose Sauceda’s death while in police custody

HOUSTON – A civil rights lawsuit has been filed against the City of Pasadena, Texas, and members of the city’s police department following the death of a 41 year-old local man who was hogtied by police and left face down on a stretcher while struggling to breathe.

Jose Sauceda died on March 25, 2012, at the Bayshore Medical Center in Pasadena after his blood was drawn following his arrest for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. According to the lawsuit filed on behalf of his children and parents, Mr. Sauceda suffered a significant beating from Pasadena police officers and was shackled in the hogtie position despite offering no resistance.

After Mr. Sauceda was transported to the hospital and placed in private room, the lawsuit says, at least one Pasadena police detective and several officers looked on while he struggled for air and eventually died. According to the family’s claims, the same officers prevented hospital nurses from caring for Mr. Sauceda’s obvious injuries.

“Jose’s family wants answers, and they deserve to know why this happened and who should be held responsible,” says Lawrence P. Wilson of The Lanier Law Firm in Houston, lead counsel for the family. “How can a room full of police officers stand a few feet away while a healthy man is suffocating right in front of them?”

In addition to the City of Pasadena, the lawsuit also names Pasadena police detective Mike Young and three individual officers as defendants. Unidentified city employees who were involved in Mr. Sauceda’s tragic death are named as “John Doe” defendants in the lawsuit filed in Judge R.K. Sandill’s 127th District Court in Houston. The case is Jose Maria Moya, et al. v. City of Pasadena, Texas, et al., No. 2012-64082.

Read the Houston Chronicle article about this lawsuit.

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