BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A Central Texas family is suing the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office and several other law enforcement officers, accusing them of using their “batons and TASERS to beat and torture” a man, tying him up to a horse and dragging him, then covering up the details, according to a lawsuit.
The excessive force civil lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, lists six Bastrop County deputies as defendants, along with a Texas Department of Public Safety officer and three officers from the Elgin Police Department– including the current police chief.
The suit indicates that Armando Mascorro Jr. was driving on U.S. Highway 290 in Bastrop County on Sept. 1, 2020. Mascorro was suspected of stealing a car.
Based on the DPS trooper’s crash report, Mascorro Jr. “unexpectedly fell out of the vehicle,” followed the car into a pasture and “fought/assaulted officers investigating the crash,” according to the court documents.
But the family said in the lawsuit the trooper covered up the man’s “torture” in order to protect all officers involved.
The lawsuit said Mascorro Jr. was punched, as well as tasered and beat with batons several times by multiple responding law enforcement officials.
DPS told KXAN they do not comment on pending litigation.
KXAN News has also reached out to the Bastrop County Sheriff’s office and Elgin Police Department and will update this story when we hear back.
The suit also describes that one Bastrop County deputy responded to the scene on horse, and provided a rope for officers to tie Mascorro Jr. to that horse.
The lawsuit indicates Mascorro Jr. was pronounced dead at an Austin hospital the same day.
According to the lawsuit, the medical examiner ruled Mascorro Jr.’s cause of death as homicide by blunt force trauma.
A spokesperson for the Travis County Medical Examiner told KXAN that they could not release that report to us.
“Due to a law enforcement objection, the Travis County Medical Examiner’s office cannot release the information requested,” they wrote in an email.
The plaintiffs say there is video footage “of the beating, torture and ultimate murder” of Mascorro Jr.
They say the county did not discipline or reprimand the involved officers and that the Bastrop County sheriff and county employees “were complicit, acquiescent and or active in the deception, coverup and conspiracy,” according to the lawsuit.