Student cleared in hoverboard arrest calls for investigation

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ByMiya Shay via KTRK logo
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
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Jesse Valdez was charged with resisting arrest, but was cleared of the charge.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It was the video of college student Jesse Valdez that generated a lot of attention on social media. Valdez, seen in cell phone video recorded by his brother, face down, in the middle of Willowbrook Mall.

He was arrested by a Precinct 4 deputy constable in September 2015 after riding a hoverboard inside the mall. In the dispute that followed, Valdez was charged with resisting arrest. Monday afternoon, having recently been found not guilty of those charges, Valdez turned the tables.

"I'm very thankful for the verdict of not guilty, but I do seek further justice, the officer does need to be charged for what he's done to me," he said.

Valdez and his supporters held a news conference Monday where they called for the district attorney's office to investigate. They say the Deputy Hollin Parrott, should never have arrested the college student for riding a hoverboard inside the mall. They believe he used excessive force during the arrest.

"We want Hollin Parrott fired, we want him indicted, we want him tried, and we want him convicted for what he did to Jesse Valdez," community activist Deric Muhammed said.

The DA's Office says it is opening an investigation, but would not comment further. Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman supported Deputy Parrott last fall. Reached on the phone, he says the deputy is still on the job, and that he welcomed the Harris County District Attorney's office inquiry.

As for Valdez, he insists he would have willingly gotten off the hoverboard, and that he believes this whole saga could have been avoided.

"I truly believe could have ended this without going to jail, this whole situation, I didn't have to have gone to jail," he added.