Excessive force claim after HPD arrest DWI suspect


by Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News


Posted on February 6, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 6 at 11:40 PM

HOUSTON -- Was it a typical arrest, or did it go too far? The proof could lie in the video tape.

Surveillance video obtained exclusively by KHOU 11 News appears to show an aggressive police takedown, but it has also prompted cries of police brutality.

“The proof is in the video,” said activist Quanell X. “What the family of the victim and other residents witnessed that night was wrong.”

The incident in question occurred in January at an apartment complex in the 9700 block of Long Point Road.

The video shows the tail end of a police pursuit of a suspected drunk driver. The car is seen stopping and then the driver gets out with his hands up.

Officers can be heard ordering him to surrender, but the man continues to walk.

Then, officers tackle him and appear to kick him while he was on the ground.

Moments later, another officer also appears to kick the man.

Twenty-four-year-old Louis Contreras was arrested at the scene and charged with DWI.

He remains at the Harris County Jail. His family is in the process of filing a formal complaint against the Houston Police Department.

Contreras has a criminal history that includes prior charges of assault on a family member and evading arrest, for which he served 90 days in jail a few years ago.

Police officials said all allegations of excessive force are taken very seriously. They also said the department would investigate the Contreras arrest to the fullest extent.