A former Houston police officer is accused of beating a teenage burglary suspect took the stand Thursday in his own defense. As Drew Ryser took the stand, he told the jury he was all ready to make a normal felony stop when he approached Chad Holley. But he says there was nothing normal about the situations that lead up to that arrest.
Ryser appeared calm and confident as he entered the courthouse for day four of his official oppression trial. In a surprise move late Thursday afternoon, the former HPD officer took the chance to walk the jury through those moment he recalls surrounding the controversial 2010 arrest of Chad Holley that was caught on camera.
Ryser told the jury he saw Holley, who was a 15-year-old burglary suspect at the time, bailing from the bed of the white getaway truck.
Ryser testified, "Just after he jumped out of the truck, he grabbed his pants. That's scary."
Ryser explained his gang unit and a tactical team was warned that Holley and the other suspects may be armed.
The 32-year-old is accused of kicking, punching and rubbing Holley's head into the ground. But Ryser told the jury he never kicked the teen as he approached his body.
Ryser told the jury, "I started looking for Holley's hands."
The defense attorney asked, "Why did you do that?"
Ryser replied, "Because hands kill you."
Ryser stood before the jury and demonstrated the moves he claims he made as he approached the teen. He told the jury the steps were rugby moves and claims he never kicked Holley in the process. Prosecutors quickly objected to the demonstration telling the judge "we are not playing rugby ... we are playing police."
At moments during Ryser's testimony, he tried showing the jury his personality by making jokes about his life as a husband and father. You can expect the tone will turn as prosecutors begin cross-examination.