Charges dropped in hotel arrests

October 10, 2008 8:44:38 PM PDT
We've learned that police have dropped charges against some of the people arrested during a brawl at the San Luis hotel that included Astros pitcher Brandon Backe. But, Backe isn't one of them.

The five cases that were dropped involve Class C misdemeanors including public intoxication. They were abruptly tossed out Friday which is making Brandon Backe's lawyer skeptical about the remainder of the cases that for now are still under investigation.

Eleven people were arrested at a wedding reception after party, some pepper sprayed, others shocked with a Tazer. The most recognizable was Astros Pitcher Brandon Backe who was a groomsman at the ceremony. Not long after, he was hit by police and charged with resisting arrest as he and other guests are said to have witnessed the bride's 19 year old brother beaten by Galveston police. The melee began, offense reports claim, when the teenager tried to take a beer into the bar. Police claimed it was a riot. Witnesses claim police overreacted.

Now five of the 11 people arrested for public intoxication had those charges dropped including the FEMA coordinator who had been assisting in Galveston's storm recovery efforts. Unusual says attorney Bob Moen, who represents Backe.

"I would like to think that the filing of charges against citizens, whether in Galveston or Harris County, are dismissed and not done so flippantly that after they're filed they're dismissed," he told us.

The charges against Backe remain as well as those against the teenager who was beaten and later hospitalized. Hotel security cameras are said to provide no video of the confrontations so witnesses are still being interviewed, but attorney Moen says some are reluctant to talk to police investigators.

"Although police want to investigate and do their own internal affairs investigation, this is the same agency these officers are from that did all these things to these people and their loved ones," Moen said.

The Galveston County District Attorney's Office is also involved in the investigation, but will not discuss it except to say that all Class B misdemeanors and above stemming from the incident are under review.

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