Posted Aug 16, 2013 08:54 pm CDT
If you know a person is violent when you call authorities for help, do you have a duty to tell them? Yes, according to a Texas sheriff’s deputy suing the mother-in-law of a man he fatally shot while assisting on a 911 call.
Brady Pullen, a member of the Harris County sheriff’s office, is seeking $200,000 from Camina Figueroa, according to the Houston Chronicle and Click2Houston.com. According to the lawsuit, Figueroa evacuated children from her home because of Kemal Yazar’s behavior. The lawsuit asserts that Yazar had been smoking or ingesting bath salts and was shot and killed after a struggle with officers in which he bit Pullen and tried to grab his service weapon. The Chronicle reports that Pullen was taken to the hospital for the bite, a concussion and cuts at the time. Pullens suit seeks damages for medical expenses, physical disfigurement and impairment, pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of earning capacity.
Yazar’s family disputes the allegation that he was high on bath salts. The 46-year-old man was depressed and having hallucinations from some tea he drank, Figueroa’s cousin Corina Padilla told the Houston Chronicle.
“At no moment did Kemal assault the officer,” she told the Chronicle. “An unarmed man, a family guy, father and husband of three girls was killed. He had no criminal record.”
Noting the understood risks of law enforcement, law professor T. Gerald Treece told the Chronicle that Pullen’s case will probably lose on summary judgment.
“What was [Figueroa] supposed to do? She got it right,” said Treece, associate dean and professor of law at South Texas School of Law. “She said the guy needed help. She did not have a duty under Texas law to go any further. She was calling to get help for this guy.”