Below is an excerpt from a Federal Court case filled by Gary Scott after Alfaro and Ungles arrested the wrong man on an outstanding warrant. It is an example of how NOT to do police work.
Plaintiff Gary Wayne Scott was arrested at his residence shortly after midnight on August 24, 2008 by Liberty County Sheriff Deputies Juan Alfaro and Chris Ungles. See Plaintiff's First Amended Petition ¶ 19. The arrest was pursuant to a capias order issued by the 263rd Judicial District Court of Liberty County, Texas on August 18, 2008 directing the arrest of Gary Wayne Scott. Id. at Ex. E, F. The deputies advised Scott that a motion to revoke his probation on felony drug charges had been filed. Plaintiff's First Amended Petition ¶ 19. Plaintiff responded that there had been a mistake because he had never been convicted of any drug charges and was not on probation. Id. Plaintiff's repeated pleas for the deputies to verify the existence of a warrant for his arrest went unanswered. Id. at ¶ 20. Although Scott provided his driver's license and social security number to the deputies, they allegedly refused to cross reference this information or otherwise confirm they were arresting the correct individual. Id. After being allowed to change clothes, Scott was handcuffed and transported by patrol car to the Liberty County Jail. Id. at ¶ 21.
The operations of the Liberty County Jail are managed by defendant Community Education Centers. Id. at ¶¶ 4, 9. CEC is a private corporation under contract with Liberty County to handle county jail operations for a negotiated per diem rate based upon the jail census. Id. Plaintiff avers that*3 county jail operations are functions traditionally considered an exclusive government function.
Upon arrival at the jail, Plaintiff Scott was not allowed to make a telephone call, was ignored, and when not ignored, was treated "very rudely." Id. at ¶¶ 23, 25. His requests to utilize bathroom facilities were denied, and he was left with no choice but to relieve himself on the floor of his holding cell. Id. at ¶¶ 24, 39, 42. He was subjected to retaliatory, intimidating and threatening treatment by trustees. Id. at ¶ 39.
According to Plaintiff, the Gary Scott for whom he had been mistaken was already in the custody of Liberty County, having been arrested for evading arrest (11) days prior. Id. at ¶ 22, Ex. D. The Plaintiff contends that Alfaro and Ungles knew they arrested the wrong individual because they served the other Gary Scott at 2:00 a.m. in his cell, just hours after arresting Plaintiff Scott. Id. at ¶ 26. Even so, Plaintiff Scott continued to be held for several more hours. Id. Plaintiff Scott was permitted to make a telephone call at 8:00 a.m., and within the next hour he was released from the Liberty County Jail. Id.
Plaintiff maintains this was not a case of innocent misidentification. Id. at ¶¶ 28-29. He points to the differences in the men's respective addresses, dates of birth, driver's license and social security numbers, and physical appearance: Plaintiff Scott was a 57-year-old Caucasian on the day in question; the other Gary Scott was 30-year-old African-American. Id.
Plaintiff alleges that the deputies acted intentionally in arresting and detaining him with no legal basis. Id. at ¶
29. Plaintiff contends Alfaro was romantically interested in a female with whom Plaintiff*4 Scott socialized. Plaintiff opines that the deputies sought to disparage his character and reputation by arresting him "thereby opening an avenue for the lady to say yes to Officer Alfaro's advances." Id. Plaintiff submits that Alfaro and his colleagues further harassed, humiliated and embarrassed him subsequent to the day in question by following and observing him at the local fair and rodeo. Id. at ¶ 53.
On August 24, 2010, Plaintiff Scott filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 in state court alleging violations of federal rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. Id. at ¶¶ 33, 38, 44. His Original Petition named Liberty County, Liberty County Sheriff's Office and Community Education Centers (CEC) as Defendants. Plaintiff amended his state court petition approximately two weeks later on September 7, 2010 to name Liberty County Sheriff's Deputies Juan Alfaro and Deputy Chris Ungles in their individual capacities as additional Defendants. Id. at ¶¶ 1-6; 12.