A Texas deputy has filed a lawsuit against a woman for past and future “mental anguish” after he was called to her house last year on a 911 call and forced to kill her son-in-law, who was allegedly behaving irrationally after using drugs.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Harris County Deputy Brady Pullen is demanding that Camina Figueroa pay him $200,000 because she did not “adequately warn” dispatchers that Kemal Yazar “posed a violent threat to others” when she called 911 to say that he was acting crazy after several days of using bath salts.
The lawsuit notes that “defendant [Figueroa] decided to evacuate the children for safety reasons” before calling police.
Pullen claimed that he was violently attacked by Yazar as soon as he went through the door. The deputy said he was bitten and his nose was broken. Officers used their Tasers on Yazar, and then fired multiple shots with their service weapons, killing him.
However, Corina Padilla, who witnessed the incident, said that her brother-in-law never touched the officers and was backing away with his hands up when they shot him.
“At no moment did Kemal assault the officer,” she insisted. “An unarmed man, a family guy, father and husband of three girls was killed. He had no criminal record. He was self-employed in import-export of very expensive rugs from Turkey and Persia.”
Padilla said that Yazar was suffering from stress and had consumed some tea that caused him to hallucinate.
She lashed out at Pullen for the “outrageous” lawsuit, adding that the officer “could have prevented it from happening, but he murdered our family member. Not only that, but he has the audacity to sue for money because he got injured when he was responding to the call.”
KTRK legal analyst Joel Androphy said that deputies should know that every 911 call is a potentially dangerous situation.
“It sends a bad message out there,” Androphy explained. “And if this lawsuit succeeds, it basically shuts down 9-1-1 calls to some degree, because people will be afraid if they make the call they are going to get sued. And the sheriff should not condone this type of action.”
Criminal Attorney Brian Wice told KPRC that the lawsuit was “a slap in the face to first responders everywhere.”
“Look, police officers know everyday, everywhere they go, they could be in a dangerous situation, so this guy is going to try step out and collect money for taking that risk,” Wice said.
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia agreed that the suit was “unprecedented.”
“So we’re allowing our legal staff to manage this case and we’ll see where it takes us,” Garcia told KTRK.
Watch this video from KPRC, broadcast Aug. 15, 2013.
Watch this video from KTRK, broadcast Aug. 15, 2013.