Cops investigated after Backe arrest

October 8, 2008 8:59:34 PM PDT
A series of arrests after a wedding including that of Houston Astros pitcher Brandon Backe now has several Galveston police officers under investigation. Eleven people were taken into custody this past weekend and at least one man was Tasered. Galveston police have their own investigation into what happened.

Backe's attorney also wants an outside agency to look at the case. Attorney Bob Moen, who represents Brandon Backe, says his client has given a statement and is cooperating with the Galveston Police Department of Internal Affairs. Moen believes the investigation should not end there. He has talked to several who witnessed the early Sunday morning incident at the San Luis H20 Bar.

Many of those eyewitnesses were part of a bridal party. Moen says what escalated to this, as captured on cell phone video, began when the brother of the bride was accused of carrying an open container into the bar. Moen says Backe, one of the groomsman, was trying to help.

"Brandon who still had his hands up in the air was asking him to be cool," Moen described. "Everything is OK when he put his hands on Brandon, slammed him up against the wall."

Moen says Backe has a fractured nose, black eye and swollen face. He says his client claims while one officer punched him in the face, another kicked him in the face and kneed him in the back of the head. Backe was among almost a dozen charged with interfering with a police officer and resisting arrest.

Galveston police say witness statements are being gathered. Given the 70 page offense report, this will be an extensive investigation. The Galveston County DA will handle any criminal charges.

While Moen is forwarding eyewitnesses on to Galveston police he says he has also had discussions with the US attorney's office about an outside investigation.

"Just from life experiences, I don't have a lot of faith in police agencies investigating officers who have done things like this themselves," he said.

Bobbi Bacha owns Blue Moon investigations. She attended the wedding, and while she left before the incident, she says she has already interviewed two dozen witnesses who all tell the same story.

"In this case, everybody is saying no one was making any aggressions toward police officers, if anything it was vice versa," she said.

Moen says there are likely more witnesses, who have not come forward, but for his client, the most noted one of all, it has been a nightmare.

"He's sorry for any embarrassment it's caused the Astros," Moen said. "It's a big part of his life and he would like it to continue to be and at the same time he's angry because he was trying to calm things down."

Moen says he will also be meeting with Cole O'Balle and his family. He's the 19 year old brother of the bride who ended up in the hospital after the incident.

That 19-year-old who was hurt during the arrest was taken to a hospital with head injuries. He was released, but later had to be readmitted. He's back out of the hospital but Moen says he is still having problems with his speech.

No officers involved in the case have been put on administrative leave.

If you want to see the police report from the night, we have it posted here.

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