Austin Personal Injury Attorney reaches $877,000 verdict against APD

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Austin personal injury attorney, Robert Ranco, represented a man that said he was tackled by Austin Police and wrongfully accused of stealing an SUV. The jury ruled in favor of Ranco’s client last week that resulted in an $877,000 verdict. (Civil Action No. 1:14-CV-00492)

Carlson Law Firm Attorney Rob Ranco

Even after being assaulted, thrown to the ground, flipped on his front, losing a tooth in the process, he is still on the ground saying sir you have the wrong person.

Austin civil rights and personal injury attorney, Robert Ranco, represented a man who was tackled by an Austin Police officer and wrongfully accused of stealing an SUV. The jury ruled in favor of Ranco’s client last week, resulting in a verdict of $877,000.

Ranco’s client, Pete Hernandez, filed a lawsuit in 2014 for an event that happened in 2012. According to Ranco, the police officers violated his client’s Fourth Amendment rights when the officers unnecessarily used physical force. Hernandez was compliant, nonviolent and unarmed at the time of the tackle. (Civil Action No. 1:14-CV-00492)

In 2012, Hernandez was walking out of the South Park Meadows Wal-Mart carrying food when officers ordered Hernandez to “get on the ground.” While on his way to the ground, Hernandez looked up at the officers and asked, ”Me?” According to court documents, the officers tackled Hernandez before he could get all the way to the ground. (Civil Action No. 1:14-CV-00492)

The officers assumed Hernandez was linked to a stolen black Yukon from Houston because he was walking close to the vehicle. He remained cooperative with the officers, and the dash-cam video showed that he never made any threatening or evasive moves. (Civil Action No. 1:14-CV-00492)

“Even after being assaulted, thrown to the ground, flipped on his front, losing a tooth in the process, he is still on the ground saying sir you have the wrong person,” said Ranco.

Court documents state Hernandez was put in the back of the vehicle with no safety belt. The police then pursued the actual suspect in a chase that caused the innocent man to be thrown around in the back of the car. (Civil Action No. 1:14-CV-00492)

Ranco believes the situation could have been handled differently by officers, and a federal jury seemed to agree with him after ruling against APD officer Jesus Sanchez with a significant judgment of $877,000.

“We are pleased that a unanimous federal jury granted Mr. Hernandez a taste of justice and validation after being denied any acknowledgement of wrongdoing by the City of Austin for nearly four years,” said Ranco. “They still have not admitted wrongdoing or apologized for this incident.”

The dashcam videos are available for viewing at https://www.youtube.com/user/robertranco.

If you or someone you know have been injured because of someone else’s neglect, contact a personal injury attorney right away. The Carlson Law Firm has a team of professionals that work together to help you get what you deserve.

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Christina Bernhard
@CarlsonLawFirm
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