Student says officer beat him during DWI arrest

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by Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 23 at 11:01 PM

HOUSTON—A young man with no prior history of trouble with the law blames Houston police for injuries he sustained during his arrest for DWI two weeks ago.

“I thought they were supposed to protect and serve but not beat you,” said Matthew Carvin, a 20-year-old college student from Humble.

Carvin said he was a passenger in a car returning home from a house party when the trouble began. He admitted he had consumed a lot of alcohol and doesn’t remember much, but said he was uninjured when police pulled over the vehicle he was traveling in.

“The next thing I know, I was handcuffed and I was bleeding. I wasn’t bleeding before this, but I was bleeding after the cops came to my side,” he said.

According to a probable cause affidavit, police had stood the driver up and were questioning him when they saw Carvin leaping into the driver’s seat. The tires began to spin and they ordered Carvin to surrender. The arresting officer said Carvin was already bleeding from a laceration on his lip.

Houston police dropped him off at the Montgomery County Jail. Sheriff’s deputies took him to the hospital where doctors treated him for an apparent concussion and stitched up his wounds.

Pictures taken the next day show his badly swollen face, a black eye and bloody shirt. The family’s attorney plans to fight the DWI charge and said he may file suit against HPD.

“This was a completely unprovoked incident,” said attorney Sam Cammack. “I think it’s systemic. I think it’s a problem that’s rampant throughout some of these police departments.”

The family has filed a formal complaint against HPD. Houston police have launched an internal affairs investigation.

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