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Corpus Christi Pays $50,000 to Settle Jail Prisoner’s Excessive Force Claim

Corpus Christi Pays $50,000 to Settle Jail Prisoner’s Excessive Force Claim

The City of Corpus Christi, Texas, agreed to settle an excessive use of force claim brought by a former detainee at the City Detention Center (CDC) for $50,000.

The claim arose from events that are alleged to have occurred after the February 18, 2006, arrest of Domingo Hernandez Leal. While arguing with his brother, Leal was taken to the ground, pepper sprayed, and arrested by Corpus Christi police.

After arriving at CDC, Leal says he asked for medical attention to treat his asthma. He claimed that he was, instead, taken to a small cell and beaten by guards Roland Arias and Jacob Garza. When released from CDC, Leal went to a local hospital and was treated for three fractured ribs.

In their defense, the guards say Leal was drunk, he put up a fight during his arrest, and he was moved from a large cell to a small one because he caused a commotion. Nonetheless, on April 30, 2008, the City settled the claim for $50,000. Leal claimed he incurred medical bills of $3,000, lost three months work at $12 per hour as a construction worker, and suffered pain from his injuries. He was represented by San Antonio, Texas, attorney Christopher J. Gale. See: Leal v. City of Corpus Christi, USDC, S.D. Texas, Case No. C-07-367.

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Related legal case

Leal v. City of Corpus Christi