Family of Harris County Jail inmate hospitalized doesn't believe officers' story after incident

Jessica Willey Image
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Texas inmate in coma: Adael Gonzalez Garcia may not live after Thanksgiving-time injuries behind Harris County Jail walls
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A 48-year-old man who spent several days in the Harris County Jail is clinging to life, and his family is not buying what deputies told them what happened.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A man remains hospitalized and in a coma after a "use-of-force" incident inside the Harris County Jail.

Adael Gonzalez Garcia, 48, has head and facial injuries and is hooked up to machines at Ben Taub Hospital. The Harris County Sheriff's Office said the injuries Garcia has are from a fall off his bed.

Loved ones shared graphic photographs of him in his hospital bed. They don't believe what they have been told.

"He didn't fall from the bed. That is the stupidest excuse, I'm sorry," Marisol Tobar, whose mother is Gonzalez Garcia's common-law wife, said. "I don't believe it. I don't believe he fell on his face. He's in between life and death right now."

According to the HCSO, Garcia was arrested on Nov. 23 for an outstanding DWI warrant out of Walker County. The next night, they say, he fell from the top bunk bed in his cell block and suffered facial injuries.

On Nov. 25, as he was leaving the medical clinic, the sheriff's office says he became combative and tried to hit a detention officer. Garcia fell to the ground and hit his head. His loved ones didn't find out he was hospitalized until three days later.

"I don't believe he fell on his face. I don't think he tried to punch anybody because he is not like that. If he's not like that in the streets, I don't believe he would punch an officer or anybody," Tobar said.

Last month, 13 Investigates reported on the increase in deaths at the Harris County Jail. With a month left to go, there have been 21. That's more than all of last year and more than each of the two years before.

If Garcia does not make it, he will not be in the count. The sheriff's office says Walker County released his warrant. He is no longer in custody.

The Walker County District Attorney's Office did not respond to ABC13's request for comment.

"The incident is under investigation by the Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs Division which is standard procedure for all use-of-force incidents," HCSO said in a statement.

Tobar believes the case of her mother's common-law husband is part of a bigger picture.

"I believe everybody should be able to walk out of there and we should have that confidence that, if our family members go in there, they should be fine," Tobar said.

Full Statement from HCSO:

On Nov. 23, the Texas Department of Public Safety arrested Adeal Gonzalez Garcia, 48, and booked him into the Harris County Jail on an outstanding DWI warrant issued out of Walker County.

On Nov. 24 at 8:50 p.m., Garcia fell from a top bunk bed in his cell block and suffered an injury to his facial area. He was taken to the jail clinic for treatment.

On Nov. 25, Garcia was released from the medical clinic and was being escorted to another cell block when staff report Garcia became combative and attempted to strike a detention officer with his fist. A struggle ensued and Garcia fell, striking his head on the ground, according to staff. Garcia was then taken to Ben Taub Hospital for treatment, and he remains in the hospital's care.

On Nov. 30, Walker County released their warrant for Garcia's arrest and he is no longer in custody.

The incident is under investigation by the Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs Division, which is standard procedure for all use-of-force incidents.

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RELATED: 13 Investigates: Decade-high inmate deaths just one concern at Harris Co. jail