HISD police officer beaten at convenience store

Anthony Prince, 41, was off-duty and not in uniform at the time of the incident

January 11, 2012 12:18:23 PM PST
An HISD police officer was beaten in front of a gas station after he says he tried to defend a homeless man last night, police say.

Anthony Prince, 41, was not in uniform when he went inside the Shell station off the West Loop and Westheimer near the Galleria. Houston police spokesperson Jody Silva says Prince told them another man came into the store and started to give a homeless guy inside 'a hard time.'

Prince says he told the man to leave the homeless guy alone, and that's when the man got in the officer's face. The two men got into a fight that spilled out into the parking lot.

But police are trying to sort out differing accounts of the event. Silva says the homeless man told officers that Prince and the man fought after the suspect became agitated that he couldn't find a cashier to check him out. The homeless man reported that the cashier was in the restroom at the time. According to Houston police, the cashier happens to be Prince's mother.

Witnesses say the man had the upper hand in the fight and punched Prince several times before running away. Prince was taken to the Southwest Memorial Hospital and is listed as stable.

Police are still investigating the incident.