BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A Bastrop man is suing a Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office deputy and Bastrop County, claiming that the deputy illegally entered his property and then used excessive force on the man for no reason.
According to the lawsuit, Eric Ybarra says that he and his girlfriend were returning to his home in rural Bastrop and stopped at the gate, drove his motorcycle in and then left, leaving his girlfriend to lock the gate behind them.
Ybarra says that at this time BCSO deputy Derek Davis drove by. According to the lawsuit, Davis stopped his squad car and started yelling at Ybarra’s girlfriend to open the gate. He reportedly believed Ybarra’s driver’s license was expired and decided to arrest him.
In a previous story with KXAN, Ybarra said, “I felt like he wasn’t there to take care of business. He was here for an arrest and here to take me down. That’s the mentality that he was on already.”
Then, Ybarra says his girlfriend told Davis she didn’t have the key and that she’d have to go to the house to get it.
Ybarra says he heard the yelling and went to the gate to see what was going on. When he got there, he says Davis demanded that he show him identification.
According to the lawsuit, “the law does not require a person who has not already been arrested to produce any identification, as any competent law officer would know.”
Ybarra says that Davis then jumped over the fence and went after him.
According to the lawsuit, “No one had consented to Davis entering the property. Davis had no warrant to enter the property, and there were no exigent circumstances justifying entering the property without first obtaining a warrant. In fact, no one was in any danger whatsoever before Davis jumped the fence…”
Ybarra says he informed Davis that his actions were illegal and that he needed to leave. But instead of relenting, Ybarra says, Davis continued demanding identification before grabbing his arm and telling Ybarra he was under arrest.
Ybarra says he complied and was handcuffed.
According to the lawsuit, as they were walking to the squad car, which was on the other side of the locked gate, Ybarra continued telling Davis that his actions were illegal and that he was violating his Constitutional rights.
Davis reportedly asked Ybarra for the key to the locked gate, Ybarra says he continued to say that Davis had trespassed — at which time Davis reportedly put his arm around Ybarra’s neck and threw him to the ground.
Ybarra says Davis climbed on top of him, screaming, and pressed Ybarra’s chest into the ground.
According to the lawsuit, Davis was screaming “Stop resisting!”, even though Ybarra was not resisting.
“In fact,” reads the lawsuit, “Ybarra calmly responded to Davis’ sham by saying, “Dude, I didn’t resist at all.”
Ybarra says he continued to plead for Davis to get off of him as Davis continued pushing his chest into the ground — breaking three of Ybarra’s ribs.
The lawsuit says that the “Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office has not disciplined Davis, and believes he acted appropriately.”
Ybarra says Bastrop County failed to train deputies on when identification is required to be produced and to discourage violence. Ybarra is suing the county, claiming that Davis acted in accordance with the training he received and the policies, practices and customs of the county.
According to the lawsuit, “Davis had no non-retaliatory reason for violently throwing Ybarra to the ground.”
Ybarra is seeking compensation for past and future economic damages, past and future physical pain, past and future mental anguish, attorney’s fees, pre- and post-judgement interest at the highest rates, and past and future damages to his character and reputation.
Ybarra and his attorney have requested a trial by jury.