United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
JACQUELINE CRAIG, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF MINORS J.H., K.H., AND A.C., ET AL., Plaintiffs,
CITY OF FORT WORTH, TEXAS, ET AL., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MCBRYDE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court for consideration and decision is the motion of
defendant William D. Martin ("Martin"), to dismiss
the claims asserted against him by plaintiffs, Jacqueline
Craig ("Craig"), Brea Hymond ("Hymond"),
and J.H., K.H., and A.C, each a minor acting by and through
Craig as his/her next friend. Having considered the motion,
the response of plaintiffs, Martin's reply,
plaintiffs' sur-reply, the record, and the applicable
legal authorities, the court finds that the motion should be
granted in part and denied in part.
initiated this action by the filing of a complaint on
December 22, 2017, against City of Fort Worth, Texas
("City"), Martin, and Itamar Vardi
("Vardi"). An abbreviated version of its
allegations as they pertain to Martin are set forth below:
On December 21, 2016, A.C., the minor son of Craig, suffered
an injury as a result of Vardi having grabbed him by the back
of the neck and pushing him to the ground because A.C. had
dropped raisins near Vardi's home. L.C., who was with
A.C, alerted her mother, Craig.
learning of her son's assault, Craig left her home to
approach Vardi. Vardi admitted to assaulting A.C. after A.C.
refused to pick up raisins he dropped on the walkway near
Vardi's home. Id. Craig called law enforcement
to report the assault, then waited, along with several
members of her household, for the police to arrive.
Id. At some point in time, Hymond began recording
what was happening.
an officer of City's police department, arrived to the
location of the incident. He briefly spoke with Vardi, who
admitted to grabbing A.C. He then spoke to Craig, whom he had
learned before he arrived had outstanding misdemeanor
warrants. Plaintiffs' precise descriptions of the conduct
of Martin about which they complain are that:
20. Defendant Martin then turned his attention to Craig who
explained that Vardi had assaulted her son. To that, Martin
responded, "Why don't you teach your son not to
litter?" Plaintiff Craig answered that even if he did
litter that did not give a stranger the right to grab or
choke her son. Martin responded "Why not?" Craig,
upset by this response, stated, "Because it
doesn't!" Defendant Martin informed Craig that if
she continued to yell at him she would "piss [him] off
and then [he would] take [her] to jail."
21. Following this statement, fifteen-year-old J.H. turned to
her mother with her back to Martin and attempted to end the
encounter. Without any explanation or justification,
Defendant Martin grabbed J.H. from behind and shoved her to
the side. Defendant Martin then grabbed Plaintiff Craig and
threw her to the ground, drawing his Taser gun and shoving it
into her back while she lay prostrate on the ground.
22. Defendant Martin then violently grabbed Plaintiff
Craig's right arm and pulled it behind her back while
pointing the Taser gun at K.H. and instructing her to get down
on the ground. As J.H. complied, Martin placed Craig in
handcuffs while she lay face down in the street. He then
approached J.H., who was lying on the ground as instructed,
and straddled the top of her while grabbing the back of her
neck and forcing her head to the concrete. Without any
explanation or justification, Defendant Officer Martin placed
J.H. in handcuffs and lifted her from the ground by yanking
23. Defendant Martin then walked Craig and J.H. to his squad
car. Without any justification or explanation, Defendant
Martin placed J.H. in the back of his car, where she had
difficulty maneuvering into the vehicle with her hands cuffed
behind her back. Defendant Martin grew impatient and shouted
"Get in the car!" while kicking J.H.'s legs
into the vehicle and slamming the door. Defendant Martin also
placed Craig in the vehicle on the opposite side of J.H.
24. Plaintiff, K.H., witnessing the assault on her mother and
sister, attempted to intervene by placing herself in the path
of defendant, Martin in an attempt to block him from any
further assault on members of her family. Defendant, Martin,
in turn unlawfully struck then fourteen year-old plaintiff,
K.H., in the throat.
26. Defendant Martin then, suddenly and without provocation,
rushed Plaintiff Brea Hymond, who stood at a safe distance,
recording the arrest. Martin handcuffed Hymond's arms
behind her back and questioned her about her age. When she
failed to respond suitably, Martin hyper-extended her
handcuffed arms by flexing them above her head in a
pain-compliance maneuver, which he later described as
consistent with the training and procedures he learned at the
Fort Worth Police Academy. When other officers arrived,
Plaintiff Hymond was placed in the back of a police vehicle.
27. Plaintiffs Craig, Hymond and J.H. were taken into police
custody. Plaintiff, Craig was charged with failure to ID -
fugitive from justice (although she is heard providing proper
ID in the recordings available) and resisting arrest (despite
the lack of evidence that she resisted at any time).
Plaintiff Hymond was unlawfully charged with interference
with a peace officer and resisting arrest for her actions in
recording the attack. K.H. was transferred to a juvenile
detention center where she was later released without being
charged with any crime.
33. Defendant, Martin, refused to provide Plaintiffs with any
explanation for their unlawful detention, and although
unlawfully detained, Plaintiff J.H. was never charged.
34. On information and belief, Defendant Martin, the City and
its policymaker acted with deliberate indifference and/or
reckless disregard toward Plaintiffs' rights, targeting
them for unlawful search and seizure, unlawful assault, and
unlawful detention without any reasonable factual basis to
support that Plaintiffs had committed any crime in responding
to an adult male attack on their minor family member.
Moreover, Defendant Martin failed to adequately investigate
the assault of minor plaintiff, A.C., by defendant, Vardi,
disregarding Vardi's admission to the assault and battery
of the minor.
35. On information and belief, Defendant Officer Martin
participated in unlawful threats and abuse of authority
against Plaintiffs under color of law.
Doc. 1 at 7-9, 10, ¶¶ 20-24, 26-27,
on those alleged facts, plaintiffs brought claims against
Martin for use of excessive force and unlawful